Skip to main content

Full text of "The independent film & video monthly"

See other formats


the J, 



J 

indenen 



dent 



S3. 95 us 
S5.25 can 




monthly 




WRITES AND DIRE 






You've got to make history... tomorrow. » 

And you need some greaf footage and photos... yesterday. 

Maybe»we don't know what's in your head. Yet Bur with 14,000 hours 

of stock foorage and 20,000,000 stills, we probably have if. Cataloged, copyright- 

cleared and ready for you to use. With thousands of images already available in digital 

format. (One less headache, right?) 




Your One Call To History: 

800-876-5115 



530 W. 25th Street, New York, NY 1DQD1 Tel. (212) 620-3955 Fax (212) 645-2137 



£%# 



Film And Video 



The filmmaker's choice for 

Blow-ups to 35mm 



A LEADER AND INNOVATOR IN OPTICAL PRINTING 

In 1982 DuArt developed the first computer-controlled optical printing machines able to 
handle A & B zero-cut negative or single-strand cut negative for conform-in-camera Blow-ups. 

The computer automates the 16mm projector and 35mm camera movements, 
minimizing stress on the original negative. 



The optical printers are computer calibrated to the timing information from DuArt's color 
analyzers, creating beautifully timed Blow-up Interpositives and Blow-up Prints. 



The experienced staff has the knowledge to handle the most complicated jobs 
and the most discerning clients. 




RECENT BLOW-UPS INCLUDE 



"Caught" 

by Robert M.Young 
Sony Pictures Classics 



"Get On The Bus' 

by Spike Lee 
Columbia Pictures 




a 



Looking For Richard" 

byAI Pacino 
20th Century Fox 



DuArt Film And Video 

245 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 Tel. 212 757 4580 or 1 800 5'2 DU ART 

E-MAIL: SALES@DUART.COM 




For Films, Videotapes, and 
Television Programs on Aging 

No Entry Fee 

Deadline February 5, 1997 

■ Independent Films and Videotapes 

■ Television Non-Fiction 

■ Training Films and Videotapes 

■ Community Videos 

First Prize Awards of "Wise Old Owl" 
statuette and $5,000 

Second Prize Awards of $2,000 

Honorable Mention Awards 
of $1,000 

Community Video Award * 
of $2,000 



CALLING ALL 
FILMMAKERS... 

This is your opportunity to 
showcase your work in a 
unique national competition 
for films and videos for and 
about aging or aged people. 

Entries must be broadcast, 
released or initially copy- 
righted during 1996. 

PAST WINNERS INCLUDE: 

Troublesome Creek: 
A Midwestern (1996) 

Complaints of a Dutiful 
Daughter (1995) 

For Better or 
For Worse (1993) 

Thank You and 
Goodnight! (1992) 

WIN... 

An all expense paid trip to 
the awards ceremony in 
Chicago, in May, 1997, 
where media celebrities 
will present you with your 
prize. These have included 
syndicated columnists Ann 
Landers and Gene Siskel, 
film critic and co-host of a 
popular movie review show. 

FOR ENTRY FORMS, 
CONTACT... 

Ray Bradford 

National Media Owl Awards 

The Retirement Research Foundation 

8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 401 

Chicago, Illinois 60631-4170 

(773)714-8080 
(773)714-8089 fax 
bradford@rrf.org 



Put the Film Transfer SUPERstars 

To Work For You. 



SUPER 

35mm 



* 



SUPER 

16mm 



SUPER 



Count on our award-winning talent for SUPER TRANSFERS IN PAL + NTSC. 

Truly state-of-the-art work. On-time, on-target and within your budget. 

Our SUPER transfers with DIGITAL RANK 4:2:2 take your project smoothly from one 
medium to another. From 35 MM ,16 MM, tape to tape, and slides — to D-l, 
D-2, D-3, Digital Beta, Beta SP, 1" and 3/4". 

Call 212.243.4900 today for SUPER quotes. 
(We'll gladly shoot a list of all our other capabilities to you too.) 



PilHfJlME 



15«fest20lhSt ■ Mew York, MY 10011 • lei 212.243.4900 ■ Fax 21 2.675.0435 



the i, 



independent 

month lv 




y 



January/February 1997 
VOLUME 20, NUMBER 1 



Publisher: Ruby Lerner 
Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Dana Harris 

Editorial Assistant: Ryan Oeussing 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Luke Hones, 

Barbara Bliss Osborn, Roberto Quezada-Darddn, 

Robert L. Seigel, Esq. 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 807-1400 x225 

National Distribution: Total Circulation (Manhattan) 

(201) 342-6334; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Lancaster Press 

Send address changes to: 77>e Independent Film & 

Video Monthly, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013. 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of video and film. 
Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; $25/yr 
student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit organization; 
$150/yr business/industry) is included in annual mem- 
bership dues paid to the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national trade associ- 
ation of individuals involved in independent film and 
video, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013, (212) 807- 
1400; fax: (212) 463-8519; aivffivf@aol.com; http:// 
www.virtualfilm.com/AIVF/ 

Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at addi- 
tional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address 
changes to The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 304 
Hudson St., 6th fl., NY, NY 10013. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a 
federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All. contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's pre- 
vious appearance in 77?e Independent. The Independent 
is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 1996 

AIVF/FIVF staff: Ruby Lerner, executive director; Oscar 
Cervera, membership associate; Leslie Fields, member- 
ship coordinator; Jodi Magee, development consultant; 
Johnny McNair, information services coordinator; Leslie 
Singer, director of administration. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Carroli Parrott Blue, Loni 
Ding, Barbara Hammer, Ruby Lerner (ex officio), Peter 
Lewnes, Cynthia Lopez, Jim McKay, Diane Markrow, 
Robb Moss, Robert Richter, James Schamus*, Norman 
Wang*, Barton Weiss, Susan Wittenberg. 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



Features 



25 Out of a Vortex 

With Sudden Manahttcm, Adrienne Shelly writes and directs her future. 
by Deirdre Guthrie 

PIMM 




2 8 Power Struggle in the Arthouse Arena 



The number of arthouse theaters has grown. So why is it still so hard for 
independent filmmakers to claim their space? 



by Max J. Alvarez 




3 2 The Fine Art of Four-Walling: Do-lt-Yourself Distribution 

by Mark J. Huisman 

The whys and hows of renting commercial theaters for 
public screenings of your film. 

36A Room of One's Own: Screening Rooms in New York & L.A. 

by Andrea Meyer & Roberto Quezada-Dardon 

Need a place to unspool your spanking new print to potential distributors 
or other industry players? Here's a list to clip and save. 



4 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



6 Publisher's Note 
9 Letters 
12 Media News 

SAG Revamps Low-Budget Agreements 
to Attract Indies 

by Robert Seigel 

Bill May Add 20 Years to Copyright Terms 

by Max Alvarez 

18 Field Reports 

Take Me Home 

Will CineBlast! put short films on the video rental map? 
by Ryan Deussing 

Gadfly in the Ointment 

Slamdance enters its third year vowing to stand on its own. 
But where does it stand? 
by Dana Harris 




40 Books in Brief 

Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television 
Revisited by Deirdre Boyle 

Reviewed By Laurie Ouellette 





42 Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser 

51 Classifieds 
55 Notices 
64 Memoranda 

by Leslie Fields 



COVER: fldrienne Shelly takes Manhattan in her directorial debut, Sudden Mahattan, 
written by and starring the actress. Photo: Anne K. Stenstad 



January/February 1 997 TH 




AN OPEN LETTER 



BY RU BY LERNER 

When I made the transition from the per- 
forming arts world to independent film 
and video about eight years ago, I was 
shocked at how underdeveloped the infra- 
structure was for media, surely the art form 
of this century. Foundations that collec- 
tively invest millions of dollars to sustain 
the performing arts have failed to provide 
consistent, ongoing support for analogous 
efforts in our field. (There are a few 
notable exceptions — especially the vision- 
ary support of the John D. and Catherine 
T. MacArthur Foundation and the 
Rockefeller Foundation.) 

And while the commercial industry — 
the Hollywood studios, the networks, the 
cable companies — has supported high- 
profile events in the field, it has virtually 
ignored the grassroots media organizations 
that have spent decades nurturing artists 
and building adventurous audiences. It 
could be argued that the commercial inde- 
pendent media industry is so dynamic 
right now because of the noncommercial 
infrastructure that has been in place for 
the past two decades. 

I'm particularly concerned about the 
state of exhibition. Commercial theaters 
simply can't handle the volume of inde- 
pendent film that is now available to 
them. When independent work does get 
booked for a run, it is under tremendous 
pressure to perform extremely well imme- 
diately or it will get bumped. And just at 
the moment we are experiencing this 
incredible explosion in independent med- 
ia production, many nonprofit venues are 
having to curtail their exhibition sched- 
ules. Media centers, museums, libraries, 
artist spaces, colleges, and universities 



have all experienced public- sector budget 
cuts. Now even these venues are under 
pressure to look more carefully at the mar- 
ketability of the work they exhibit. 

Having been a small exhibitor myself, I 
know that exhibition of important or chal- 
lenging work often must be subsidized. 

Fed up, exhausted by years of censor- 
ship battles and budget cuts, many artists 
are now being seduced by the charms of 
the marketplace. And unquestionably it's 
thrilling to see the new opportunities for 
independents in cable, home video, and 
foreign markets. But I think it is important 
not to confuse the opportunities that are 
arising for some independents with the sys- 
tem of support for and dissemination of 
alternative work that has been in place for 
almost two decades. 

Frankly, much of the work that excites 
me is not commercially viable in a tradi- 
tional sense (perhaps contrary to the aspi- 
rations of its makers) . A lot of it is appro- 
priate for exhibition in noncommercial 
venues, which is why we need those exist- 
ing venues to be strong and why we also 
need many new exhibition sites. I still 
believe in the power of the shared, com- 
munal experience of the live event, and 
I'm absolutely convinced that many more 
people would be interested in seeing inde- 
pendent media than presently have the 
opportunity to do so. 

I think we've reached a critical cross- 
roads in the life of our field. What needs 
to happen now? 

1. Relatively speaking, we're a young 
field. Despite being undercapitalized, non- 
profit media organizations have nonethe- 
less nurtured countless artists by providing 
affordable access to equipment, training, 
information, and exhibition opportunities. 

Now, as the field matures, our media 
organizations need revitalizing; many, 
including AIVF, have been in the process 
of reinventing themselves for a changed 
economic and technological environment. 

But we all require — and deserve — 
increased financial assistance to continue 
our important work. 

2. We also need to establish brand new 
exhibition venues in communities large 
and small. I don't think it's so farfetched 
to imagine cultivating three to five new 
media exhibition sites per state per year — 
at libraries, community colleges, and local 
arts councils, for example. Media centers 
could be a tremendous resource in this 



process, demystifying equipment needs 
and providing information on working 
with distributors and building an audi- 
ence — in effect, offering the kinds of 
hands-on workshops that have trans- 
formed performing arts presenting over 
the past two decades. After five years 
there would be at least 750 new exhibi- 
tion sites for media throughout the 
country. If each community held just one 
screening per month, there would be 
almost 10,000 new screening opportuni- 
ties each year. 

3. I would also like to see the estab- 
lishment of a Media Exhibition Fund of 
several million dollars per year, the pri- 
mary purpose of which would be to 
encourage independent media exhibi- 
tion in communities or neighborhoods 
that do not have such programs. 

I sometimes fear we are running the 
risk of becoming a society of isolated 
individuals locked away in our home 
entertainment fortresses. What is the 
antidote to this? A lively and diverse 
public media culture permeating every 
city and town. I can imagine screenings 
of independent work every night of the 
week in hundreds of communities all 
across the country; I can see film and 
video producers at those screenings pre- 
senting their work in person; and I can 
see audiences, engaged, passionate, 
excited about what they are experienc- 
ing. 

I estimate that with $6-8 million a 
year {much less than the cost of one 
Stallone action film), noncommercial 
media exhibition in the United States 
could be radically transformed. And 
everybody wins. Artists benefit. 
Distributors benefit. The industry bene- 
fits. And communities all across the 
country get access to work they might 
not otherwise see. 

What would it take to make this hap- 
pen? A summit meeting with representa- 
tives from the commercial industry, 
artist service organizations, independent 
media exhibitors and distributors, and 
foundation leaders might be a good place 
to start. Such a gathering might result in 
new collaborations between exhibitors 
and distributors, between foundations 
and the industry, and eventually, in the 
creation of a funding pool that will nour- 
ish and sustain these dreams. 

Ruby Lemer is publisher of The Independent Film 
6k Video Monthly and executive director of the 
Association oflndependeiit Film and Video (Aft F). 



6 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 




We do it all, from A to Z. 

• Post-production • Duplication 

• Customization • Distribution 



From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




mm 



VIDEO DUB INC. 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 




PRODUCTIONS ' 



11 WEEHAWKEN STREET 

QREENWICH VILLAGE. NY 10014 

TELEPHONE (212) 6^1-1038 

FAX (212) 242- 4911 






*P0ST PRODUCT ION SOLUJ IONS 



*' 



AUDIO 



5 DIGITAL AUDIO 
SUITES w/Protools™ 

16 TRACK DIGITAL, 

24 TRACK ANALOG 

ARRISON CONSOLE, 

DIGITAL AUDIO 

WORKSTATION, 

ECORDING STUDIO, 

LIVE ROOM, w/ ISO 

BOOTH 

12 AND 16 TRACK 

Protools™ DIGITAL 

TDIO WORKSTATIO, 

w/ ISO BOOTHS 

ULL SOUND DESIGN, 
IIXING, ADR, FOLEY 

EXTENSIVE SOUND 
LIBRARIES 

DATA BACKUP AND 
STORAGE 

AWARD WINNING 
EDITORS 






VISUAL 



2 AVID™ EDITING 
SUITES 

ON-LINE AVID™ 
MC 1000 SUITE 
w/ 3D MODULE 

OFF-LINE AVID™ 
MC 800 SUITE 

9-27 GB STORAGE 
AVAILABLE 

3D GRAPHICS 

STRATA™ STUDIO 

PRO TITLE 

GENERATOR 

BETA SP or SONY™ 
9850 3/4" VTRw/TC 

EDITORS 
AVAILABLE 



CUSTOM 
PACKAGES 



ISDN REMOTE SITE / TRANSMISSION 



TELEPHONE 
^12)691-1038 

FAX 

(1^2)242-4911 




INTEGRATED 

SERV ICES 




YOUR LIBRARY 

HAVE THE 
INDEPENDENT? 

Take this coupon to 

your school or public 

librarian and request a 

subscription today! 



10 issues/yr. 
Library subscription rate $75 

Published by the Foundation for 

Independent Video and Film 

ISSN 0731*0589 

Order from FIVF, 

304 Hudson St., 6th FL, NY, NY 10013; 

(212) 807*1400x235 

EBSCO: (205) 991*6600; 

fax (205) 991*1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283*2966; 

CAN (519) 472*1005; 

CAN fax (519) 472*1072 




m 







mm 



HI &rffi.&*f£fa-.J?fi&. 



F«wf 



ORDER THESE BOOKS FROM FIVF 

NEW EDITIONS - ORDER NOW! 

The AJVF/FIVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser. $29.95 AIVF members; $34.95 others 



The AIVF/FIVF Guide to Film & Video Distributors 

by Kathryn Bowser $19.95 AIVF members; $24.95 others 



The Next Step: A Film and Video Distribution Handbook 

Morrie Warshawski, ed. $19.95 AIVF members; $24.95 others 



Order all three and save'. 

$59.95 AIVF members; $74.95 others $ 



Alternative Visions: Distributing Independent Video in a 
Home Video World by Debra Franco; $9.95 AIVF members; 
$12.95 others $ 

Film and Video Financing by Michael Wiese; $22.95 $ 



Film Directing Shot fry Shot: Visualizing from Concept to 
Screen by Steven D. Katz; $24.95 $ 

Home Video: Producing for the Home Market by Michael 
Wiese; $11.95$ 

The Independent Film & Videomakers Guide by Michael 
Wiese; $13.95 $ 

The P.O.V Online Experiment by Don Adams &. Arlene 
Goldbard; $5.00 incl. postage & handling $ 

Shaking the Money Tree: Hou' to Get Grants and Donations 
for Film and Video by Morrie Warshawski; $24-95 $ 

Postage/handling: US - $3.50 1st book, $1.00 ea. addl; 
Foreign - $5.00 1st book, $1.50 ea. addl $ 

TOTAL $ 



Make checks payable to FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th ft., 
NY, NY 70073; or charge by phone: (272) 807-1400 x 235 
or fax: (212) 463-8579. 



I 



A 









..' - •'■ 1 




ill Gets Billing 



To the editor: 

We enjoyed reading the article on Steve 
Buscemi's Trees Lounge [October 1996]. You 
mentioned all of the main actors, but you left 
out one of the best performances by a great 
character actor. His picture is on the cover with 
Steve's and he played the part of "Bill" in the 
lounge. He is not only a marvelous actor, he is 
also a playwright. His play The Last New Yorker 
is to be done soon on Theater Row. His name is 
Bronson Dudley. 

Caroline Dudley 
Manhattan, NY 

Not Worthy? Is So! 

To the editor: 

I read with great interest author Rob Rownd's 
article "I'm Not Worthy!" [October 1996]. 
While Mr. Rownd's criticisms of Sony's overall 
slow response to marketing promised acces- 
sories to its new digital camcorders is just, some 
of the other statements in the article are ques- 
tionable. 

For example, Mr. Rownd states, "the biggest 
drawback for the [camera] is its single audio 
jack.... Not only has Sony not released a mic 
[for this camera], but. ..unless you're willing to 
risk frying either the camera or the mic, you're 
stuck with the existing on- camera mic or using 
a slate and a separate Nagra or DAT package to 
record sound." 

Not only does Sony make a microphone for 
this camera, but it is widely available at any 
video dealer. I purchased mine from Sony direct 
via their National Parts Center [8281 NW 
107th Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64153, 800- 
488-7669; fax: 816-891-2580]. Sony itself rec- 
ommends either their ECM-K57 (a basic unidi- 
rectional) or the ECM-Z157 (which has an 
optional telescoping shotgun cardiod to omni 
audio zoom) . 



As for wireless or boom mic situations, no 
problem. The key: use a low impedance stereo 
mini-plug and add no gain or signal processing. 
Any high impedance mic won't work; likewise, 
a mono plug will not rest securely within the 
camera's input jack. While it is lamentable 
Sony did not have the foresight simply to make 
the mic jack input a more reliable size, you at 
least have the knowledge that you're rivalling 
even a good DAT or mini-disc for sound qual- 
ity, with the added bonus of not having to sync 
up later. 

Later, Mr. Rownd states, "the DXC-1000 
doesn't do well with non-saturated hues in low 
light." If you only use the camera's onboard 
automatic exposure and/or lock the manual 
exposure at the lowest F-stop equivalent, this 
is true. But I recently shot in a nightclub with 
the camera that only had disco balls, laser 
lights, etc.: a true videographer's nightmare. 
By simply setting the light level for an average 
light source with the auto exposure and then 
locking it into manual (a very nice feature the 
camera has for fast "grab and go" footage tak- 
ing), I was able to produce deep color satura- 
tions and rich blacks that were as good as any- 
thing I've ever shot. 

Mr. Rownd further states, "compatible 
matte boxes aren't available from Sony or 
third-party vendors." You can purchase one 
from Ambico for less than $30 that attaches to 
any video/film camera. Failing that, you can 
always make a matte box yourself out of a shoe 
box! Surely with all this high tech gadgetry at 
our fingertips, we haven't forgotten that a lit- 
tle old-fashioned imagination never hurt 
behind the camera as well as in front of it. 

More of Mr. Rownd's disappointment: "the 
Firewire digital interface is [currently unavail- 
able] ." Probably true as of his writing, but Sony 
is now marketing it as well as a dedicated dig- 
ital nonlinear editor. Also, Miro, a West 
German manufacturer, plans to introduce a 
stripped-down Firewire slot card for the PC 
later this spring. 

And the final insult: "the DXC-1000 does- 
n't offer more than any other top -line con- 
sumer camcorder." Is he kidding? Five hun- 
dred lines of digital quality video? CD-quality 
sound? The ability to make your final edited 
copy a literal first-generation master? A state- 
of-the-art image stabilizer? The ability to do 
wipes, dissolves, animation, and glitch-free 
edits in camera? Image quality that makes 
some Betacam owners frankly nervous? That 
also takes 600 digital-quality images on a one- 
hour tape? That has digital effects filters built- 
in for motion blur photography, time lapse, 
etc? That produces better resolution than live 
network broadcast feeds for only $25 per hour? 
What other consumer camcorder on the mar- 
ket can offer such features at any price? 



Avant-gardistes: 

We were FIRST in NY 
to offer DV, Media 100 

& DigitalBetacam 
broadcast services. 

Technophobes: 

We are an experienced, 
user-friendly facility. 

DV Users: 

Sony broadcast DVCAM, 

DCR-VX1000 & the tiny 

JVC Cybercam, plus true 

component bump-ups! 

Creative 
Editors: 

Rough cut or finish on a 

fuli featured Media 100; 

we'll teach you how. 

Document- 
arians: 

Robotic camera stand 
at an outstanding rate. 

Producers: 

DigitalBeta is NOW, 

move up to rocketship 

online, (hot rod editors 

and the bells & whistles 

at no extra charge). 



Digital 

is easy in the 

Digital Media Zone. 

DMZ/Eric Sol stein Prod. 
212 481-3774 

We accept major credit cards , 
& offer special discounts 
to AIVF members, call. 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 9 




WRITE • DIRECT • SHCCT • EDIT 

YOUR OWN SHORT FILMS IN OUR HANDS-ON 

EIGHT WEEK TOTAL IMMERSION PROGRAM 

FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LITTLE OR NO 

PRIOR FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE. 

LEARN CONCEPTS OF STORY, DIRECTING, 

CAMERA, LIGHTING, SOUND AND EDITING IN 

AN INTENSIVE YET SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. 

WORK WITH 16MM ARRIFLEX CAMERAS IN 

SMALL CLASSES DESIGNED AND TAUGHT BY 

AWARD-WINNING INSTRUCTORS. TUITION $4000. 



NEW WORKSHOPS START FIRST MONDAY OF 
EVERY MONTH IN NEW YORK CITY ALL YEAR ROUND. 



SIX WEEK SUPER INTENSIVE SUMMER WORKSHOPS AT 

YALE & PRINCETON UNIVERSITIES 

THESE WORKSHOPS ARE SOLELY OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY. 



NEW YCCK riLAi ACADEMY 

100 EAST 17TH STREET NYC 10003 TEL: 212-674-4300 FAX: 212-477-1414 
FORMERLY LOCATED AT THE TRIBECA FILM CENTER 



All in all, quite a feat for a camera that Mr. 
Rownd dismisses as unworthy of being consid- 
ered "more than a very good consumer prod- 
uct." 

David Coleman, Kudzu New Media Studios 
(kudzumedia@worldnet.att.net) 



Discrediting Credit Cards 

To the editor: 

Hopefully, a sad and disturbing irony was not 
lost on readers when you ran both "The Rise 
and Fall of American Playhouse" and "Buy 
Now, Pay Later: The Pros and Cons of Credit 
Card Financing" in the June issue. Are we 
supposed to laugh hysterically or scream with 
rage? The health and vibrancy of independent 
filmmaking is in sorry shape if people can be 
led to believe that financing a film through 
credit cards is a serious option. 

Rare is the no-to-low budget independent 
film made outside a support system that will 
ever get the kind of distribution necessary to 
be able to repay those credit card bills. Once 
again, insane risk and sacrifice are placed on 
the backs of well-meaning filmmakers with 
Stardust in their eyes, while distributors who 
troll the festivals to pick up product still 
require lucky producers like Jim McKay 
(Girlstoum) to pay for the 35mm blow-up and 
soundtrack remix. If you are young, rich, and 
innocent, you may survive the credit card 
financing game once. But it is hardly possible 
to repeat it over the long run. 

More to the point, we have to understand 
and analyze an American media landscape 
where stable funding has disappeared — no 
more American Playhouse and few federal, 
regional, and foundations grants. We're look- 
ing at a culture where public TV has retreated 
into conservative sonambulence, bottom-line 
entertainment conglomerates rule the exhibi- 
tion pathways, and alternative venues for 
interesting, difficult, or small films are closing. 

The truth is that credit card films aren't 
going to receive the attention they desire 
because there is no place for them in our sat- 
urated, market- and trend-driven media econ- 
omy. Merely a short-term illusory fix, credit 
cards will not replace a production entity like 
American Playhouse or help filmmakers com- 
pete against corporate product. 

Films are not made in a vacuum. Without 
an infrastructure of production companies, 
distributors, exhibitors, critics, and audiences 
willing to take risks, there will be no authentic 
and sustainable American independent film 
culture where profit isn't the only guide. The 
sacrificial solo effort might see the light of day, 
but then what? A quick career jump to 
Hollywood's development hell? 

Helen De Michiel, producer/director 
Albany, California 



It snot the 1 e n < 

u^at counts. . . 

It s what you do with it 

»1J ■! 1 1 1 !■ J 



Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival 
June 2 to 8, 1997 



CALL FOR ENTRIES: 
Deadline March 1, 1997. 



Guerilla Tactics workshops: Register to win 
FREE Kodak film, Deluxe Toronto processing, 
Panavision equipment and Medallion-PFA post. 



For information call our hotline: 416-535-4457 




flu 

OVATION - 



THE ArtS network 



Vw^^VS yo" r Rims 

about the arts. 



Fax or e-mail descriptions oi completed broadcast quality hlms to 

OVATION's Programming Department. (No phone calls please.) 

All television broadcast rights must be cleared. 

Fax: 703-518-3096 or e-mail: into@ovationtv.com 

For more information about OVATION, check out our website: 

www. ovationtv. com 




OVATION 



&ucii^) 



inn 



The Arts Network 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



IT 




SAG REVAMPS 

0W-BIT)GET AGREEMENTS 

TO ATTRACT INDIES 



Edited by Dana Harris 

In an effort to allow its members to bene- 
fit from the recent boom in extremely low-bud- 
get filmmaking, the Screen Actors Guild 
(SAG) recently revised three of its low-budget 
film contracts: the Modified Low-Budget 
Agreement, the Experimental Film Agree- 
ment, and the Limited Exhibition Agreement. 

Although most of the terms and rate dis- 
counts under the relatively new Modified 
Agreement remain unchanged [see "SAG Ac- 
commodates Lowest Budget Indies," 
November 1995], it raises the ceiling on a 
film's total production cost from less than 
$300,000 to $500,000. In addition, SAG now 
offers this agreement to producers throughout 
the United States. This includes the Los 
Angeles area, which was previously excluded. 

For independent producers, one of the 
Modified Agreement's major benefits is it cuts 
the rates producers must pay SAG members by 
54 percent. Under the revised agreement, pro- 
ductions must pay SAG performers daily and 
weekly rates of at least $248 per day and $864 
per week. Under the old Low-Budget 
Agreement, those rates were $466 and $1,620, 
respectively. 

SAG's lowest low-budget agreement, the 
Experimental Film Agreement, also saw signif- 
icant reform. Under the revised agreement, 
SAG raised a film's budget ceiling from 
$35,000 to $75,000. The agreement is also now 
available for feature films of any running time. 
Previously, the Experimental Film Agreement 
applied only to films with running times of 35 
minutes or less. In addition, SAG doubled the 
residuals rate under this agreement from 3.6 to 
7.2 percent of the distributor's worldwide gross 
receipts, if and when a film is licensed to free 
television, basic and premium cable, or home 
video. 

Many other terms of the agreement remain 
unchanged. The shooting schedule can't run 
over 30 days or six weeks, whichever comes 



first. However, one of the Experimental Film 
Agreement's major benefits is that SAG mem- 
bers' salaries and residuals are entirely deferred 
until the film is commercially exhibited. That 
exhibition doesn't 
include film festival 
and Academy of 
Motion Picture 
Arts 6k Sciences 
screenings; one- 
week Oscar- qualify- 
ing runs in a paying 
theater; non-pay- 
ing, non-public 
screenings to show- 
case talent before 
"established indus- 
try members;" or up 
to one year of 
screenings on a 
public access chan- 
nel. If a film 
receives a commer- 
cial release, SAG 
members should 
receive their 

deferred compensa- 
tion based on the 
SAG Low-Budget 
Agreement. 

Finally, for the 
first time in several 
years, SAG made its 
Limited Exhibition 
Agreement (LEA) 
available to feature -film producers in the Los 
Angeles area. The LEA includes only film fes- 
tivals, "showcase" or "arthouse" runs ot up to 
two weeks, certain public television and non- 
commercial, non-pay basic cable airings, and 
home video self-distribution by producers. 
Under these rules, the LEA day rate is $100 per 
day if a SAG performer is guaranteed one or 
two days of work and $75 per day if three or 
more days of work are guaranteed. The budget 



Modified Low-Budget Agreement 

Before: 

• ceiling on film's total production is $300,000 

• Los Angeles area excluded. 

• Rates of $466 per day and $1,620 per week 

After: 

• $500,000 ceiling 

• available to producers throughout United States. 

• Rates of at least $248 per day and $864 per week 

Experimental Film Agreement 

Before: 

• Budget ceiling of $35,000 

• Applied only to films with running times of 35 min- 
utes or less 

• Residuals rate of 3.6% 

After: 

• Budget ceiling of $75,000 

• Available for feature films of any 
running time 

• Residuals rate of 7.2% 

Limited Exhibition Agreement 

Before: 

• Unavailable in Los Angeles 

After: 

• Available in Los Angeles 



limit for qualifying films is up to $200,000 
without deferments or $500,000 with defer- 
ments. 

However, like the Experimental Film 
Agreement, the LEA 
stipulates that exhibi- 
tion beyond the para- 
meters of the agree- 
ment means that pro- 
ducers must renegoti- 
ate a deal with the 
SAG actors as well as 
seek SAG's approval. 
Like the Modified 
Low-Budget Agree- 
ment, any residuals 
are generally double 
the standard rate. 
That means actors 
receive 7.2 percent of 
the worldwide distrib- 
utor's gross receipts 
tor a television 
release. For a video- 
cassette release, SAG 
actors would take 9 
percent on the first $1 
million of worldwide 
distributor's gross 
receipts and 10.8 per- 
cent ot worldwide dis- 
tributor's gross 
receipts in excess of $1 
million, payable on a 
deferred basis as a dis- 
tributor takes in receipts [see "Navigating the 
SAG Limited Exhibition Agreement," 
Jan./Feb. 1995]. 

Unlike the Modified Low-Budget Agree- 
ment, which requires producers to hire SAG 
performers, the Limited Exhibition and 
Experimental Film Agreements permit pro- 
ducers to combine SAG and non-SAG per- 
formers in a cast. (The SAG agreements also 
apply to professional performers in other 



12 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 




Betacam SP production packages 

Avid MC8DOO S. MC1DQD on/off-line editing 

component Betacam SP on-line editing 

Micnotime Paint F/X DL graphics 

Macintosh graphics & compositing 

component HiB transfers 

Betacam SP, 3/4" SP, HiB S. VHS duplication 

25' x 3D' stage 

212.529.S204 

DV8VIDE0/738 BRORDWRV NYC 10D03 



The Sixth 

Florida Film 



i call for entries i 



deadline: march l 



June 1 3-22, 1 997 • 35mm •] 6mm 

Features • Shorts • Narrative 

Documentary • Animation • Experimental 



Juried Awards 

Feature-length Audience Award 
Winners eligible for a 
1 week theatrical run 



ENTRY FORMS: 
1300 S. Orlando Ave. • Maitland, FL 32751 

Tel: 407/629/1088* Fax: 407/629/6870 

Email: filmfest@gate.net 

World Wide Web: www.enzian.org 



official sponsors: 




USAir 




Jtxd&e Us By the 

Collections 

"We Keep 



Smithsonian 

Institution 

The film collection 
from the great cultural 
institution's Office of 
Telecommunications. 



Pajntthera 

Productions 

400 hours of film 
from this Emmy 
award winning 
production company. 




Hearst 

Historical 

One of the premier 
historical collections 
dating back to the 
turn of the century. 



Pan Am 

Collection 

Travelogues, industrials, 
commercials, and 
aviation history from 
1928-1980. 




New York • Paris • Tokyo 
Barcelona • Tel Aviv 
Hong Kong • Stockholm 
Seoul • Stuttgart • Osaka 




TEL: 



500 

Nations 

Incredible scenic 
beauty from the epic 
CBS miniseries hosted 
by Kevin Costner. 



We SCAM 

Incredible perspectives 
from the manufacturer 
of the world's most 
advanced camera mount. 



coll hi free Demo: 
(212)799-9100 
(2 1 2) 799-9258 



THE WORLD'S GREATEST LIBRARY FOR CONTEMPORARY & ARCHIVAL STOCK FOOTAGE 




National Educational 
Media Network* 



CONTENT "97 

11th Annual 
Conference, 
Media Market, 
Showcase 
& Exhibit 

May 28-31, 1997 

The Marriott Hotel 
Oakland, CA 

The Nation's Leading Annual 
Gathering for Non-theatrical 
Producers & Distributors 

Conference 

Top professionals bring you latest 
trends, state-of-the-art technologies, 
distribution and legal basics. 
Network with producers, major 
distributors, funders, media pros. 

Media Market 

The best, low-cost way to find a 
distributor for works-in-progress or 
finished productions. 
"The primary meeting place in 
the U.S. for distributors and 
filmmakers catering to the non- 
theatrical market. " 
Michael Fox, The Independent 

Showcase & Exhibit 

View latest Gold Apple Award 
winning productions. Browse 
exhibits, see media vendors' 
newest products. 

'formerly 
National Educational Film & Video Festival 

For more information, contact: 

NEMN 655 13th Street, 
Oakland.CA 9461 2-1 220 
PH 510.465.6885 
FX 510.465.2835 
E-mail nemn@nemn.org 



unions such as AFTRA and Equity.) 

"The fact is, you have to work with the 
union," remarks one producer at the New York 
production company Shooting Gallery. "But 
this shows they're trying to work with indepen- 
dents by making their talent more affordable." 
Robert L. Seigel & Ryan Deussing 

Robert L. Seigel is a NYC entertainment attorney and a 

principal in the Cinema Film Consulting firm. Ryan 

Deussing is the editorial assistant at The Independent. 



Bill May Add 20 Years to 
Copyright Terms 

If you have trouble meeting deadlines, 
here's fresh inspiration: anyone who hopes to 
use footage that's just been freed from its copy- 
right restrictions should act now or risk losing 
that clip for another 20 year. A bill now in 
Congress threatens to extend copyright terms 
in order to allow U.S. laws to match those of 
Europe. 

Last May, the Senate Committee on the 
Judiciary voted 12 to 6 in favor of passing the 
Copyright Term Extension Act of 1996 (S.483), 
a bill authored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R- 
UT), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), and Fred 
Thompson (R-TN) that would extend the 
terms of copyright for an additional 20 years. 
While the bill failed to clear Congress last fall, 
the authors plan to revive it when Congress 
reconvenes in early 1997. With lobbyists for 
entertainment heavyweights such as the 
Motion Picture Association of America and 
ASCAP testifying on behalf of the bill, there 
seems to be a strong possibility that it will pass 
in the near future. 

For now, copyright laws are defined by the 
Copyright Act of 1976, the fourth copyright bill 
passed by Congress since 1790. The act stipu- 
lates that all copyrighted works registered prior 
to 1978 and renewed by their holders before 
expiration of the initial 28-year terms of copy- 
right are entitled to 75 years of protection from 
original date of publication or 100 years from 
creation, whichever comes first. 

Currently, works created by individual 
authors (i.e., songs and novels) after 1976 are 
copyrighted for the entire life of the author, 
plus an additional 50 years. "Corporate 
authors," which include movie studios that 
copyright their films, are protected for an addi- 
tional 75 years. Under S.483, the life-plus-50 
provision would extend to life-plus-70, and cor- 
porate authors would be protected for 95 years 
from the original date of publication or 120 



years from creation, whichever came first. 

The revised copyright bill was inspired by 
the European Union's introduction of a life- 
plus-70 copyright clause in October 1993. 
The Hatch-Thompson-Feinstein bill is 
designed to match these terms as a means of 
protecting intellectual property rights over- 
seas. The committee warned of calamitous 
financial losses for audio -visual providers if 
their products were not adequately protected 
by a universally accepted copyright law, par- 
ticularly when being used within the "infor- 
mation superhighway." 

However, the cultural losses of such a 
change could equal any financial repercus- 
sions. "The transition's going to be murder," 
predicts Kenn Rabin, a 16-year veteran of 
archival research and rights clearance, 
whose credits include Eyes on the Prize, 
Vietnam: A Television History, and Marlon 



Copyright Terms Before: 

• Copyright laws are defined by the Copyright Act ot 1976. 

• All copyrighted works registered prior to 1978 and renewed 
hy their holders before expiration of the initial 28-year terms of 
copyright are entitled to 75 years of protection from original 
date of publication or 100 years from creation, whichever 
comes first. 

• Works created by individual authors after 1976 are copy- 
righted for the entire life of the author, plus an additional 50 
years. 

• "Corporate authors," which include movie studios that copy- 
right their films, are protected for 75 years beyond the work's 
publication or creation. 

After: 

• The new laws would come under the Copyright Term Extension 
Act of 1996 (S.483). 

• The terms of copyright would be 95 years of protection from 
the original date of publication or 120 years from creation, 
whichever comes first. 

• The life-plus-50 provision would extend to life-plus-70. 

• Corporate authors would be protected for 95 years from the 
original date of publication or 120 years from creation, 
whichever came first. 



Riggs' history of blacks on television, Color 
Adjustment. 

"Life-plus means that the generation that 
existed when the work was created will 
never have [free] access to it," says Rabin. 
"Corporate greed being what it is... people 
have forgotten that the purpose of the copy- 
right law was to provide protection for new 
pieces of work for a period ot time, after 
which they would belong to the public. 
People have tried to subvert that for so long, 



14 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



and now they really seem to be succeeding." 

Among the ways entertainment companies 
currently dodge public domain is the "version- 
ing" loophole. If a "new" edition of a movie is 
created by technically altering it, it can qualify 
for a new copyright. These methods can be as 
bold as computer- coloring a black-and-white 
film or as subtle as editing or rescoring a classic. 

What particularly worries Rabin is that the 
politicians' efforts to create international copy- 
right uniformity could make some public 
domain material revert to copyright holders in 
certain territories. For example, the 1926 ver- 
sion of Fritz Lang's Metropolis is a public domain 
title in the U.S. but is still copyrighted in its 
native Germany. 

A new copyright law could also complicate 
matters for those who use what Rabin calls 
"repurposed" footage — material created for one 
purpose and recycled for another. "A lot of film- 
makers use material that we think of as orphan 
material," says Rabin. "What if you've got a 30- 
second piece of footage and the copyright was 
never renewed on it [but] now that little piece 
of work is buried in a larger, copyrighted work 
like a PBS documentary/ The whole legal status 
for that 30- second excerpt is changed." 

Minority votes against the Hatch-Thomp- 
son-Feinstein bill included Hank Brown (R- 
CO) and Herb Kohl (D-WI), both of whom 
spoke in defense of educational and cultural 
institutions getting access to public domain 
works in order to avoid having to pay steep roy- 
alties. Rabin adds that powerful people in the 
audio-visual industries perceive public domain 
as being akin to public assistance programs and 
a free ride for the general public. 

As someone whose livelihood depends on 
chronicling the events of the 20th century his- 
tory, Rabin can't help but sense the potential 
cultural losses brought upon by increased forms 
of copyright legislation. "We're taking this huge 
gift [of recorded historical material] and basi- 
cally saying that you can't use it for 100 or 75 
years." 

While PBS -affiliated projects might be able 
to pay the costly rates for copyrighted material, 
smaller mediamakers, Rabin warns, will be dev- 
astated as foundation grants continue to disap- 
pear. "There's a huge amount of our personal 
history that is owned by other people," says 
Rabin. "That problem will only get worse the 
more the copyright extension occurs." 

Max J. Alvarez 

Max J. Alvarez is a Washington, D.C. writer who 

reported on media arts censorship in the 

August/September issue 



EMPIRE MEDIA 

videography and sound 

Sony betacam sp/DV 1000/ hi-8 digital audio packages 

special commissions welcome 

24 hour service 

ph/fx 212.818.1338 POB 299 NYC 10276 emedia@bway.net 



For 



Film 



66 Sibley 

Detroit, Ml 48201 

Customer Service 

and Sales: 

(313)962-2611 

Fax:(313)962-9888 



Tape-to-Film Transfers . . 

Call the Film Craft Lab. OurTeledyne CTR-3 uses 
high grade precision optics and is pin-registered for 
a rock steady transfer and superior results. 
A few of our satisfied clients include: 



Lynn Hershman 
Laurel Chiten 
Jane Gillooly 



"Virtual Love" 
"Twitch and Shout" 
"Leona's Sister Gerri' 



We offer a two-minute MOS 16mm color demo at no charge 
from your videotape. 

For Exceptional 

Processing & Printing . . . 

We've been processing and printing motion picture film for over 
25 years, so we understand the challenges of the independent 
filmmaker. We're a full-service film laboratory and one of the 
few labs that still processes black & white film. For professional 
lab services, call us first. 

• Daily Processing 

• Black & White Processing & Printing - 16mm & 35mm 

• Color Processing & Printing - 16mm & 35mm 

• Black & White/Color Reversal Processing & Printing 

• Camera Raw Stocks 

• Rank/da Vinci Film-to-Tape Transfers 

• Video Duplication 



THE FILM CRAFT LAB 

A DIVISION OF — 

Grace &Wild WasfcAonaBH 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 15 




Will CineBlast! put short films 
on the video rental map? 



by Ryan Deus s in g 

Someday soon, video stores from Maine to 
San Francisco will carry short films from 
around the world — that is, if producer Gill 
Holland can realize his plans for CineBlast!, his 
"quarterly video review for the independent 
short film." Holland, a half-Norwegian native 
of Davidson, North Carolina, got the idea for a 
short film anthology during two-and-a-half 
years of working the festival circuit with the 
French Film Office in New York. As the coor- 
dinator of the American delegation to Cannes, 
he came into contact with hundreds of young 
filmmakers who were looking for a way to get 
their shorts seen and realized he'd stumbled 
upon a vast, untapped market. 

"Of course, everyone said I was insane when 
I told them I wanted to put out short films on 
video," he recalls. At the Sarasota French Film 
Festival, however, Holland found a partner in 
Cinema Parallel's Roh Tregenza, whose compa- 
ny distributes predominantly European shorts 
and features on both film and video. 

Whereas Holland's experiences at Cannes 
and elsewhere (including a stint reading scripts 
at October Films) left him with a list overflow- 
ing with the names of films and filmmakers, it 
was Tregenza's record as an independent dis- 
tributor that made the CineBlast! project feasi- 
ble. Of his distributor, Holland remarks that 
"it's really rare to come across such an enlight- 
ened person in the film industry." Combining 
Parallel's contacts with the national video dis- 
tributor Ingram Entertainment with their own 
aggressive marketing strategy, Tregenza and 
Holland were able to get the first edition of 
CineBlast! on the shelves this summer. 
Marketing responsibilities are shared, with 
both the Cinema Parallel and CineBlast! 
offices contributing to telephone and direct- 
mail campaigns, which are targeted to individ- 
ual video stores as well as national chains. 
Ingram's 25 regional distribution centers, 
meanwhile, are ready to spread CineBlast! 




across the country as soon as the title is picked 
up by Blockbuster or another national chain. 

However, just how many stores are now car- 
rying the Ill-minute tape is a matter they 
won't discuss. "Let's just say it's growing," offers 
Tregenza. "People have an aversion to short 
films, and CineBlast! is working to change 
their minds as we continue to establish our- 
selves." 

While CineBlast! Volume One has been 
available since June, the fact that the second 
quarterly volume was not released until 
November 15 does not discourage Holland. He 
plans to keep the operation small for as long as 
he must, but he continues to plan for the 
future. Stressing that "there's power in num- 
bers," he hopes to nurture CineBlast! until he 
can approach public TV and cable networks 



with a full ten-and-a-half hours ot program- 
ming, perhaps even scoring a deal for a series 
of CineBlast! programs. Plans are also under- 
way to make a 35mm print of selected 
CineBlast! shorts for theatrical release. 

The videos themselves, which feature 
eight films each, combine very promising 
material with shorts that won't quite "shape 
the future ot cinema," as the box hypothe- 
sizes. Volume One offers interesting films 
from Aiyana Elliot, Paul Tickell, and Dave 
Burris, whose The Side of the Road features a 
cameo by Jared Harris (I Shot Andy Warhol). 
Volume One also features two great experi- 
mental films: Garine Torossian's Tl\e Girl 
From Moiish and Matthias Freier's Fishmiiid. 

Apparently, CineBlast! is opening doors 
for some ot its filmmakers. "It's out there, and 



16 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



it seems like a lot of people have seen it," says 
Toronto-based Torossian, who has heard from 
several potential music video clients since her 
film appeared in the first CineBlast! "People in 
this business know about it," remarks Burris. 
"It's like, 'Yeah, I heard about that tape' — it 
seems to be sparking interest." 

Volume Two features An Autumn Wind, visu- 
al haikus directed by Iara Lee, whose documen- 
tary feature Synthetic Pleasures was released this 
summer, as well as Brian D. Cange's A Counter 
Fancy and Morgan J. Freeman's Boom, which 
stars Brendan Sexton, Jr. {Welcome to the 
Dollhouse). Freeman's first feature, Hurricane, 
was produced by Holland and will premiere in 
January, as will Myth America, Holland's feature 
project with producing partner Gait 
Niederhoffer. Asked about Mimi Steinberg's 
Call Waiting, however, which seems below par 
for a review hoping to feature "the best short 
films the world has to offer," Holland admits 
that it was included with commerce in mind. "I 
hate to refer to a film as product, because it's 
art, but the fact is I'm hoping that film is the 
kind of New York 'slice-of-life' that will appeal 
to a European audience." 

A labor of love, CineBlast! "has been a very 
by-the-seat-of-the-pants venture," Holland 
admits. "We can't afford to run seductive ads in 
all the trade magazines, so we rely heavily upon 
our own contacts and word-of-mouth for pub- 
licity." Holland also mentions that he's been 
working without a salary for as long as 
CineBlast! has been off the ground and will 
have racked up more than $35,000 on his Visa 
card by the time Volume Three is released in 
late February. 

Adopting the titles of "publisher" and "edi- 
tor," respectively, Tregenza and Holland say 
they have followed the model of the Paris 
Review, a quarterly literary magazine that rose 
from humble beginnings to become one of the 
most prestigious magazines of serious literature. 
Of his goal for the video review, Holland says, 
"What I really hope is that one day people will 
look back at CineBlast! and at all of the film- 
makers it featured and say, 'How did Gill 
Holland know all those people?', the same way 
it's so amazing to look back at the Paris Review 
and see how many of its contributors went on 
to make a name for themselves." 

For more information and submission guide- 
lines, contact CineBlast! at (212) 965-0684 or 
Cinema Parallel at (800) 860-8896. 

Ryan Deussing (ryantwthing.net) is a freelance writer 
and editorial assistant at The Independent. 




Why spend a fortune to shoot smooth shots, 
when you can own a Glidecam V-16 or V-20. 



The Glidecam V-16 stabilizes cameras weighing from 
10 to 20 pounds The V-20 stabilizes cameras weighing 
from 15 to 26 pounds Both systems come complete 
with Support Vest, Dyna-Elastic™ Arm, and Camera Sled, 
Leasing is available as low as $99.00 a month 
Call us today, you'll be blown away at our prices. 



We also offer the 
stabilizers, the Cai 



nd Dual-G hand-r 
e and the Glidec 
or the 3000 F 



1-800-949-2089 or 1-508-866-2199 

or reach us at http://www.glidecam.com 



Glidecam is Registered at the PATENT and TM office 



T 




ICAN MONTAGE INC 



Award Winning Clients And 
Prodcutions at Resonable Rates 

AVID 

9 & 4 

Film & Video Production 

Post-Production Specialists 

Timecoded Duplication 

Hi-8, VHS, 3/4SR Betacam SP 
Editing & Dubbing 

Mac Graphics & Digital Effects 



375 West B'way 3R, NY, NY 10012 

3 3 4-8283 



tATTLE 



& O) M Tf 



<L(AT£f 



€veriithing for 
Past Production 



FULL LABORATORY $€RVIC€$ 

T€L€Cin€ 

€DITORIAL 

Past Prod. Supervisors 

Dailies Suncing 

€dge Coding 

Film €diting 

Digital fionlin.ear 
Flatbed 

Assistant €diting 

On-Line €diting 

€quipment Rental 
$P€CIAL €FF€CT$ 

Digital/Optical 

$ounD 

Design 

Cditing 

€ffects 

Foleu 

ADR 

mixing 

Sweetening 

Transfers 

1/4" to 

DAT to 

ffiag. tolOltifal 

mu$ic 

Composing 

Recording 

€diting 

Libraru 
VID€0 DUBBIfl 
TITL€$ & CR€ 
n€GATIV€ C 

VID€0 TO FIllJPffgJffiF€R$ 
DIGITALJK fM Mte|^ 



UJe are an independent Group 

of Businesses that make UDur 

Post Production nightmare a 

D R € Am 



For more Information call 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 17 




GADfUf M THE OWMENT 

SLAMDANCE ENTERS ITS THIRD YEAR 
OWING STAND ON IS OWN. 
BUT WHERE DOES IT STAND? 




By Dana Harris 



L 



ast September, Slamdance festival 
DlRECtor Jon Fitzgerald flew to Utah on Friday 
the 13 th to meet the man who has say over 
anything that happens in January at Park City. 
Conversations on the phone had been surpris- 
ingly friendly, hut Fitzgerald knew that if he 
was going to get permission to hold Slamdance 
for the third year, a face-to-face meeting was 
necessary. So, he spent $110 to fly from L.A. 
for a conversation with Park City Police Chief 
Frank Bell. 

"It was a good meeting," says Fitzgerald. 
"There were three main things Chief Bell 
wanted to know: What were our intentions; 
why Park City; and why the same time as 



Sundance.'" 

It sounds like the Chief's time in Park City 
has honed his indie film sensibilities; many in 
the industry would ask the same questions. 
Much has changed for the Slamdance film fes- 
tival as it enters its third year. 

Initiated by three independent filmmakers 
angry and inspired with rejection, Slamdance 
was still waffling between an idle thought and 
a last-minute effort in November 1993; in 
1996, Slamdance had received some 800 
entries by its November 8 deadline, with 
another 200 or so expected to slip in under the 
wire. As this article went to press, a few films 
had already been selected: Kari Skoglund's The 
Size of Watermelons will be in the dramatic 
competition, and Eric Schaeffer's Fall and 
Steven Soderbergh's Schizopolis will each 



receive special screenings. 

Slamdance's most infamous detail remains 
unchanged: it's best known tor being the 
thorn in Sundance's side. This reputation 
comes courtesy oi the festival's puckish 
name; some early, cocky Slamdance press 
releases, and most of all, Slamdance's copy- 
cat scheduling. This year, Slamdance will go 
so far as to show its films at the Treasure 
Mountain Inn, across the street from the 
Egyptian Theater, Sundance's premiere 
screening spot. 

However, Fitzgerald says that's not what 
Slamdance will be known tor in the future: 
His plans for Slamdance don't include 
remaining the gadfly in the ointment. His 
reimagining of Slamdance includes work- 
shops, an elaborate website, and maybe even 



18 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1997 



some sort of "coalition" in which filmmakers 
buy a membership in order to be connected 
with production resources. Fitzgerald is consid- 
ering changing Slamdance's time, location, 
even its name. 

Or, he might not. "It doesn't do any good if 
we move to a hole -in the -wall city where no 
one's going to come," says Fitzgerald. "We're 
not going to move for the sake of moving. It's 
not a cultural or audience -driven film festival. 
Our main objective is to give filmmakers a one- 
up in the film business. We want people to rec- 
ognize we're not here to be a pain." 

If Slamdance isn't a pain, then what is it? A 
Sundance wannabe? A home for renegade 
films, or the ones that Sundance lets slip away? 
The festival Slamdance brings to Park City this 
year isn't exactly having an identity crisis; it's 
more like an identity showdown. With so many 
possibilities vying for attention, Slamdance may 
discover that the process of finding a way to 
survive on its own could be an operation as 
risky as separating Siamese twins. 

In 1995, Slamdance had the aura of a col- 
lege prank: filmmakers Fitzgerald (Self-Portrait) , 
Dan Mirvish (Omaha: The Movie), and Shane 
Kuhn (Redneck) saw their films rejected by the 
Sundance Film Festival, got mad, and decided 
to hold their own festival concurrent with 
Sundance. 

The filmmakers hurriedly gathered nine 
other features and twelve shorts (all Sundance 
rejects) and sent out a press release. They held [j, 
a press conference on Park City's Main Street, 
although the actual festival took place 40 min- 
utes away in Salt Lake City. The upstart festival 
programmers were rewarded with a generous 
amount of coverage: journalists didn't have 
much to say for the films, but they were fasci- 
nated by the maverick event that dared to 
tread on Sundance's territory. 

Sundance was less enthralled. "In their ini- 
tial announcement, the way they did it was def- 
initely slamming Sundance by mischaracteriz- 
ing it as a festival for Hollywood wannabes and 
for filmmakers with deep pockets," says inde- 
pendent consultant Bob Hawk, a member of 
Sundance's advisory selection committee. "I 
thought it insulted every low and no-budget 
filmmaker who was at Sundance that year." 

Soderbergh, who produced The Daytrippers 
and helped bring it to last year's Slamdance 
after Sundance turned it away, sees the festival 
in a much kinder light. "We'd always consid- 
ered it an option. It was really fun. I think 
Slamdance is exciting, inevitable, necessary, 



CALL FOR WORK! 

Through 
the4?r 

LENS WYBE-TV35, 

Philadelphia's 
independent public television station, 
seeks work for a series featuring film 
and video from independent media 
artists from around the nation. This 
10-week series airs in prime time in 
the fall. All styles are welcome; shorts 
up to 30 minutes preferred; no works 
longer than 59 minutes. 

Acquisition fee: $25 per minute. 

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 15, 1997 

For an entry form, write: 

Through the Lens 7 

6070 Ridge Avenue 

Philadelphia, PA 19128-1604 

(215)483-3900 
(215)483-6908 



WYBE TV 



j^nj 



NEW 

Digital Camera Rental 
Sony DCR VX1000 camcorder 

Digital. Hi-8 to BetaSP 
component transfer also available. 

$12/HR 

Sony 3 4" self-service editing 
with RM-450 controller 

AVID 

On-line, Off-line 

AVR 75 component from/to Beta SP 
Also digitize from/to D-2, 1", Va", Hi-8, VHS 

Interformat on-line; 2-D, 3-D graphics; 

Multi-lingual translation; narration; 

and more... 




R.G. Video 

72 Madison Ave - 6'" f I. 
New York, NY 10016 
(Btwn 27'" & 28'" Streets) 



tel: 212-213-0426 
fax: 212-213-0736 






Where Does The Money Go? 

Solve The Mysteries of Budgeting and Scheduling 



Hands On Training: 



♦ Script Breakdown 

♦ Strip Boards 

♦ Work Rules 

♦ Film/TV Budgets 



♦ Location Management 

♦ Negotiating Tips 

♦ Insurance 

♦ Post Production 



' 'By the end of this course you feel like you 've just finished making a movie. 
Yudi Bennett, 1 st Assistant Director, "The Client", "I'm Not Rappaport" 



ROBERT 
BOBDM'S 




Nuts 
& Baits 

PRODUCTION SEMINARS 



For dates, locations 

and/or 
for more information 

1-800-755-7763 

Ask About Group or Student Rates 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 19 



.The 24TH 

ATHENS 

International 

Film and 
Video 

Festival 

May 2 -9, 1997 

CALL for 
ENTRIES 

CATEGORIES INCLUDE 

EXPERIMENTAL 

DOCUMENTARY 

NARRATIVE 

Deadline: 

January 31 
1997 

For information and 
entry form contact: 

The Athens Center for 

Film and Video 

P.O. Box 388 

Athens, Ohio 45701 

Phone: (614) 593-1330 
Fax:(614)593-1328 

Email: 
bradley@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu 



Sponsored by the College of Fine 
Arts at Ohio University, and the 




and good. 'DIY' [do it yourself] is the whole 
idea behind indie filmmaking, and it doesn't 
stop when the film is done." 

Kuhn and Mirvish moved on to other pro- 
jects after Slamdance's first year, but Fitzgerald 
brought Slamdance back to Utah in 1996. He 
even staked a claim in Park City at The Yarrow, 
a hotel that also served as a stop on Sundance's 
shuttle service. 

Of the 50 films Slamdance offered last year, 
several went on to prove themselves worthy at 
a number of other festivals. After winning 
Slamdance's Grand Jury prize, The Daytrippers 
screened in the International Critic's Week sec- 
tion of the Cannes Film Festival and won the 
Grand Prix and Prix du Public at the Deauville 
Film Festival. The Delicate Art of the Rifle won 
Best Picture at the Chicago and North Carolina 
Film Festivals; and Blossom Time won the 
grand prize at the Florida Film Festival. The 
Sadness of Sex will be handled by Tara Releasing 
and Glory Days (formerly Last Call) was picked 
up by Seventh Art Releasing. And, Swingers 
was scheduled to be at Slamdance '96 (before it 
was picked up by Miramax), but an incomplete 
sound mix forced the filmmakers to pull the 
film at the last minute. 

Fitzgerald and creative director Peter Baxter 
intend to build on that momentum this January 
with a lineup of 10 films culled from the thou- 
sand, as well as a number of special screenings 
and a panel on music rights for film coordinat- 
ed by RCA consultant Michael Solomon. 
They've also acquired a number of sponsors, 
including Panavision, Cinepix Film Properties 
(distributor of The Daytrippers) , and Red Rock 
Brewery Co. 

Then there's the plans designed to make 
Slamdance a year-round institution. Screenplay 
workshops are in the works for '97, and in 1996 
Slamdance held a screenplay contest that 
received just under 1,000 entries (at $35-$55 
each, depending on the deadline) for a chance 
at a $2,500 first prize and being one of three 
scripts read by The Gersh Agency and Fox 
Searchlight. On the website, Fitzgerald plans to 
offer filmmakers production tips and a "digital 
market" in which they can upload 30-second 
QuickTime clips of their works-in-progress as 
well as screenplay synopses. 

Workshops. Year-round activities designed 
to hook up filmmakers with helpful resources. 
While Fitzgerald admits that these increasingly 
sophisticated and wide-ranging ideas bear a 
certain resemblance to those of an institute 
that also holds a Park City film festival, he says 
Slamdance will offer something unique. 



"The website is key," he says. "Companies 
can put up trailers to raise the funding to fin- 
ish their movie, and screenwriters can get 
exposure in the industry to get contacts. Our 
web is going to have directories and bulletin 
boards so filmmakers can talk to each other, 
and I'm trying to work on a deal with one of 
the agencies that will let us use some of their 
talent to work on these new projects. Even 
though Sundance has done a lot with their 
festival and workshops, they haven't taken as 




much personal attention with as many film- 
makers." 

Sundance program director John Cooper 
says he finds that attitude mystifying. "We've 
belped so many filmmakers. I took 
Daytrippers with me down to Brazil's Rio 
Cine festival because I liked the film. We're 
nonprofit, we're not in the studio system. 
We're just not 'the big man.'" 

While Fitzgerald says Slamdance isn't in 
competition with Sundance ("They're the 
number one festival. I've always said that."), 
he takes pleasure in describing how a studio 
executive reportedly told a filmmaker, "You 
don't want to go to Sundance; go to 
Slamdance." He also describes the acquisi- 
tion of Schaeffer's Fall as "coming over to 
our side of the fence." 

iiowEVER Slamdance currently defines 
itself, some industry members accept it as a 



20 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



member of the festival circuit. "We would 
plan to cover everything at Slamdance from 
an acquisitions angle," says Bob Aaronson, 
vice president of production and acquisitions 
for Twentieth Century-Fox. "It's certainly an 
opportunity to see a significant number of 
American independent films that are not 
available at that time of year anywhere else." 
Others see Slamdance in a less flattering 
light. "Slamdance started out as a bunch of 
whiners who grossly misrepresented the state 




of Sundance to make a mark," says produc- 
er's representative John Pierson. "They had 
horrible presentation [sound and projection] 
in their first year and the films were pretty 
bad, too. Second year: Had a much better 
lineup, still completely unacceptable presen- 
tation. And they had less sympathy because 
they were going down the road the second 
time and they should have had their shit 
together." 

Nor does Pierson have sympathy for 
Slamdance's identity as a Sundance alterna- 
tive. "Sundance had the world's worst open- 
ing and closing night films last year, but it 
was Welcome to the Dollhouse that took the 
jury prize. That film could have fit in the 
Sundance lineup just as well any other year." 

However, Hawk points out that in at least 
one respect, Slamdance has had a positive 
effect on Sundance. He credits the festival 
with encouraging Sundance to establish its 



noncompetitive sidebar, the American 
Spectrum. 

"I certainly assume that it was to some 
degree an answer to Slamdance," says Hawk. 
"It was only a natural result of where 
[Sundance fesival director] Geoff Gilmore is 
coming from, but maybe the advent of 
Slamdance pushed things along. There was 
already a full representation, but now there are 
a few more films that won't be rejected. 
Sundance will never be able to show everything 
that might be worth seeing." 

Most filmmakers would go to great lengths 
to be one of those films; in fact, taking on 
$50,000 in credit-card debt could seem much 
less risky than not submitting a film to 
Sundance. However, Skoglund committed her 
first feature, The Size of Watermelons, to 
Slamdance a month before Sundance's 
October deadline. "We chose them over 
Sundance," she says. "We decided not to par- 
ticipate because Slamdance was going to com- 
mit to our film much earlier." 

Skoglund says she doesn't feel that 
Slamdance hurts her film's chances for distribu- 
tion. "They're not just orphan films. The 
response I've been getting from distributors is 
they love the idea of an alternative festival that 
represents the independents in a more genuine 
way. Sundance used to be an alternative festi- 
val, and I think it's [now] more mainstream." 

Terrence Michael, producer of Fall, agrees. 
Although he says his agent submitted a 
Sundance application for the film, Michael and 
Schaeffer asked that it be withdrawn when 
Slamdance offered to feature Fall as a premiere. 
"It's been great working with them," says 
Michael. "Slamdance seemed smaller and less 
political, so we said, 'Let's take a chance. 
They're doing what we're doing.'" 

However, filmmakers who have already 
attended Slamdance give the festival mixed 
reviews. Delicate Art of the Rifle director Dante 
Harper says he resented the pressure he felt 
from Slamdance to commit to the festival 
before Sundance had made its decision. 

"They tried to get us to say 'yes' before 
Sundance, but that's incredibly wrong," says 
Harper. "Slamdance should be about the films 
Sundance wasn't smart enough to get. 
Sundance is there for a reason, and if you show 
there you're going to have a much better 
chance to be picked up. I totally believe in what 
[Slamdance] is doing, but if you're $65,000 in 
debt, are you going to go to Slamdance over 
Sundance?" 

Previous Slamdance filmmakers also say that 



We would like to thank the 

following artists and their 

producers who have helped to 

make our first three years the 

wonderful adventure 

it has been... 

rp i n 



SENSE AND SENSIBILITY 
EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN 

Ang Lee 

AMATEUR 
FLIRT 

Hal Hartley 

ANGELA 

Rebecca Miller 

THE HARDLY BOYS 

William Wegman 

PAL00KAVILLE 

Alan Taylor 

THE SUBSTANCE OF FIRE 

Dan Sullivan 

DAYTRIPPERS 

Greg Mottola 

THE BROKEN GIANT 

Estep Nagy 

RATCHET 

John Johnson 

LENA'S DREAMS 

Gordon Eriksen & Heather Johnston 

KIRK & KERRY 

Aza Jacobs 

Jem Cohen, Burt Barr, Matthew Barney 

Katherine Dieckmann 

Everything But The Girl 

Yo La Tengo, The Breeders 

Helmet, Vic Chesnutt 

And All The Rest... 

We're a Full-Service Post-Production 

facility for the alternative filmmaker. We 

have an ADR/Foley Studio, AVIDs, 

AudioVisions, ProTools, and a high- 
speed, 8-plate, supercharged steenbeek. 
We provide creative editors, experienced 
technical support and expert post 

supervision at competitive rates. For 

more information, contact Jeanette King 

or Steve McClendon at (212) 679-2720. 



SPIN CYCLE POST, INC 

12 West 27th St., 6th Floor 

New York, NY 10001 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



jm the international success of 
Clerks" at Cannes, through the 
dominating presence at student 
film festivals throughout North 
America, through worldwide industry 
acceptance of graduate students, 
Vancouver Film School positions stu- 
dents for success. 

the spectacular growth of the BC 
Film Industry over the past decade 
and predictions for even more growth 
to the end of the century, shouldn't 
you do the same? 



L Call Vancouver Film School TODAY. 
Position YOURSELF for success. 



IFFERS PORTFOLIO PRODUCTION 

PROGRAMS IN: 

Film 

Classical Animation 

Acting for Film & Television 

Multimedia Production 

3D Computer Animation 

Certified Alias/Wavefront 

Certified Avid 
.ertified Digidesign/ProTools 

Call. 

Compare. 

Nothing does. 

II: 1-800-661-4101 



Web: http://www.multimedia.eduj 
[ E-mail: query13@multimedia.edu 1 



A iNCOUVER FILM SCHOOL 
- 1 168 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, 
B.C. Canada V6B 2S2 



the festival's good intentions don't necessarily 
make up for state-of-the-artless screenings. For 
Mottola, shoddy projection equipment made 
for a brutal debut. 

"The first screening was a nonscreening," he 
says. "It was marred by horrifically bad sound. 
The first five rows had their fingers in their 
ears, and the last five couldn't hear anything." 

Producer Soderbergh admits the screening 
was rough. "But all of us knew it went with the 
territory and the audiences were very under- 
standing of the circumstances." And Mottola 
adds, "The second screening was one hundred 
times better." 

Harper says that if he knew how harrowing 
his screening The Delicate Art of the Rifle was 
going to be, he's unsure he would have gone to 
Slamdance. "If I were going back with a film 
this year, I would make damn sure that it was 
going to be projected in a way that would make 
the most out of my film. It's one hell of a learn- 
ing experience." 

This year Slamdance will have one screen 
set up in a Treasure Island conference room, 



number of events, then do the big one in the 
summer." 

As many sources point out, it's difficult to 
assess any festival without knowing the time 
of year or where it will be held. But in a fes- 
tival calendar that already offers little 
breathing room, when and where could that 
be? Michael suggests Santa Barbara or San 
Francisco, "in between the American Film 
Market and Cannes. Summertime wouldn't 
be bad." Mottola jokingly suggests, "Another 
resort town. Vegas." 

Some filmmakers admit that part of 
Slamdance's identity they now like is its 
proximity to Sundance. "I would be dishon- 
est if I said it wasn't," says Skoglund. "The 
fact that it's at the same time means you are 
maximizing an opportunity. Sundance is a 
gathering of the top acquisitions people and 
I want this film to be close to that, certainly. 
We're showcased as being different, but 
we're in Park City." 

But if Slamdance's identity was to be 
divorced from Sundance's, would the film- 



The festival Slamdance brings to 
Park City this year isn't exactly 

having an identity crisis; it's 
more like an identity showdown. 



[j and Fitzgerald promises that the projection 

quality will be much improved. In addition to 
hiring Boston Light and Sound for on-site pro- 
jection booth assembly, the projectors will be 
thoroughly tested before the festival. "That was 
a luxury we didn't have last year," says 
Fitzgerald. 



T 



ALKING ABOUT SLAMDANCE LEADS HAWK TO 
pose a slew of hypothetical questions. "Slam- 
dance's whole reason for being is Sundance. If 
they leave, what are they going to do? How are 
they going to define themselves? If they are 
going to try to coexist, why are they in Park 
City at the same time?" 

Hawk's queries are similar to the ones 
Slamdance is trying to figure out for itself. 
"We'd probably have the festival after Berlin — 
it's close enough after Sundance and still has 
impact," muses Fitzgerald. "But there's no solid 
fest for indies in summer — that's another possi- 
bility. Another is to go to Park City at 
Sundance and have a presence with a small 



makers still come? "Absolutely," says 
Michael. "It's the fact that they're willing to 
take good films and si ovvcase them to 
national distributors." 

Of course, that presumes that if 
Slamdance stood alone, the distributors 
would still mark the festival on their calen- 
dars. Mottola thinks it would be difficult for 
Slamdance to find another time and place 
that offered as much easy appeal. 

"Personally, I think Slamdance is a good 
thing, but I think the hope is you have this 
captive audience," he says. "I would love to 
see another festival where important distrib- 
utors came, but these are incredibly busy 
people who don't have to see movies if they 
don't want to." 

Aaronson agrees. "It would really have to 
depend on when and where it was. We'd cer- 
tainly want to see all the films somehow. 
There are a lot of different reasons to go to 
festivals. You decide on a case-by-case and 
year-by-year basis. Maybe Sundance should 
think about making Slamdance a kind of 



22 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



sanctioned sidebar," he laughs. "That will prob- 
ably not be an idea that Sundance will jump at 
any time soon. They'd be happier if Slamdance 
just got out of town. Isn't that what they did in 
the old West?" 

Harper believes that losing three years' 
worth of identity isn't Slamdance's greatest risk: 
he feels that as long as Slamdance is held in 
Park City, it's hard to call it a Sundance alter- 
native. "Can you even go up to Park City and 
do something that's not Sundance in one way or 
another? It's a real tar baby," says Harper. "They 
have to decide: are they going to be just anoth- 
er festival? Show what Sundance doesn't show? 
What others don't show?" 

Wherever Slamdance chooses to be, Harper 
says he hopes they don't lose their intent. "The 
reason Slamdance did as well as they did is 
because Sundance dropped the ball," he says. 
"People have to know that if your film doesn't 
go to Sundance, that's not the end. They can- 
not have all the good films. I think Slamdance 
is always going to be a thorn in Sundance's side; 
I just hope they keep it. That's a fine and beau- 
tiful economy." 

Cooper agrees that Sundance will never 
have 'all the good films.' "We try to be as fair as 
we can — in fact, we're obsessed with it — [but] 
let's hope we make some mistakes on some films 
every year, please!" 

In any case, Fitzgerald says he isn't designing 
Slamdance to serve as Sundance's conscience. 
While Fitzgerald says he's proud to have proven 
that "it's not Sundance do or die," he claims the 
reason he'll be across the street from Sundance 
this year is a matter of supply and demand. 
"This isn't about picking up what Sundance 
doesn't. The fact that we're back there this year 
is because there was enough of a demand. The 
consensus was we have to go back there and 
really do it right, get films picked up, and prove 
people that it's not to just piss off Sundance." 

Reconciliation might suggest a name change 
in Slamdance's future, but don't count on it. 
Besides, Fitzgerald sees it as something of a trib- 
ute. "We've considered it, but there's something 
to be said for remembering where you came 
from. Without Sundance and the need for 
accommodating more films in Park City, we 
wouldn't have happened. If someone gets 
picked up or gets noticed, then we're doing our 
job. We're not doing it for ourselves, we're 
doing it for indie filmmakers." 



Dana Harris is the managing editor of 
The Independent. 





PO& 



Tel 212.631.7463 
Fax 212.631.7423 




NEW! 

REVISED SECOND 
EDITION 



FREE 

Trial Offer! 

(30-day 
money-back 
guarantee) 



HUE 



UDGE 



VIDEO 



BIBLE 




Hi8, Mini DY, and S-YHS 

SECRETS REVEALED! 

THE LOW BUDGET VIDEO BIBLE 

The essential do-it-yourself guide to creating 

top-notch video on a shoestring budget 



Camcorders, editing, shooting 

strategies, formats, time code systems, 

audio tracks, nonlinear, desktop video, 

& much more! Over 450 pages. 



Call with credit-card, or send check/m.o. 

Just $27.95 plus $3.00 shipping 

(NY residents add $3.31lax) 



DESKTOP VIDEO SYSTEMS 

Box 668-Psck Slip Station 
New York, N.Y. 10272 



ORDER NOW! (24-hr) 
1-800-247-6553 




AVID 



(212)228-7748 



296 Elizabeth Street, Suite bf 

New York, N.Y. 

10012 

AVID & D/Vision suites 

at reasonable prices 

/?fi.„AVID is an HM Rifken Productions,lnc. Co. CALL ABOUT Beta SP Camera packages (IKE-571) and crews 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 23 



Announcing... 

The First Annual IDA Award 
for The Best Use of News Footage in a 

Documentary 

Presented by ABCNEWS VideoSource 



For more than thirteen years, the 
International Documentary Association has 
dedicated itself to excellence in documentary 
film production. Its 1,500 
members include writers, 
cinematographers, 
producers and represent- 
atives of every branch of 
the filmmaking art. 

Each year, at its 
annual awards ceremony 
in Los Angeles, the IDA 




celebrates the best in documentary filmmaking 
with the presentation of prizes in varying 
categories, including, for the first time, an 

award for the best use 
of news stock footage 
in a documentary. 
This newest honor is 
sponsored by ABCNEWS 
VideoSource, the most 
comprehensive news 
and stock footage 
resource in the world. 



For the fastest, easiest way to find the exact footage you want, come to the source, 



Call for Entries: The award, plus a $2,000 honorarium, will be presented in Los Angeles on October 31, 
1997. The competition is open to documentary films and videotapes using news footage which were 
completed, or having primary release or telecast, between January 1, 1996 and April 30, 1997. The deadline 
for submissions is May 31, 1997. 

For complete Entry Guidelines, an Entry Form or further information, please contact IDA Awards, 1 551 S. 
Robertson Blvd. Suite 201, Los Angeles, CA 900354257. Phone: (310) 284-8422. Fax. (310) 785-9334. 



®ABCNEWS 

VideoSource 



125 West End Avenue at 66th Street, New York, NY 10023 
800 • 789 • 1250 • FAX 212 • 456 • 5428 ' www.abcnewsvsource.com 

The Tape & Film Collections ofABCNeivs, Worldwide Television News and British Movietone News all in one place! 



©1996 




OU DON'T MIND IF I SMOKE, DO YOU?" ADRIENNE SHELLY ASKS 
inside the car. "I get kind of rattled after a screening; need to relax a 
bit." 

Like her characters on screen, Shelly isn't an intimidating, imposing 
figure. She's a tiny thing, with a lion's mane of hair and a voice that 
makes you think of a cartoon princess. She leans a bit closer to me. 

"Did you see that fat man in the back row?" 

"No," I reply. 

"He had these cards on the sides of his glasses." 

"Playing cards?" I ask, confused. 

"Yeah, miniature playing cards. He kept staring at 
me like he was going to kill me or something." 

"Weird" I concur, genuinely disconcerted. 

Thus unburdened, she takes a drag off her 
cigarette and exhales through the open 
window. 

Shelly has just finished presenting 
Sudden Manhattan at the Chicago 
International Film Festival, and 
we're heading to her hotel on a 
crisp, blue, October afternoon. 

Although Shelly has written 
and directed several plays, 
Sudden Manhattan, which 
opens theatrically in February, 
marks her first attempt at 
writing, directing, and star- 
ring in a feature film. In it, 
Shelly again masters the 
aura of a feminine Holden 



I R D R 



H R I 




Caulfield. Her character, Donna, is an aimless, analytical loner who 
wanders Manhattan's streets looking for wisdom in graffiti philosophy 
and fortune-teller prophecy. The guidance she finds there is bleak: 
"The meek shall inherit shit" reads a spray-painted wall. And Dominga 
the omniscient gypsy, played by Louise Lasser, predicts, "All is suffering, 
torture; and then you die." 

There's an undertone of despair and cynicism in Shelly 's writing; it's 
lightened by humor, but is weighty nonetheless. I'm thinking of the 
motley crew she's named as mentors: people like Carol Burnett, Lucille 
Ball, Dostoevsky, Camus, Ingmar Bergman, Patricia Rosemont, and 
Woody Allen. 

Shelly says the writing of Sudden Manhattan three years ago followed 
a period of depression in her life and no doubt reflects it. The underly- 
ing theme of her film, she notes, is an exploration of "the humorous 
loneliness in our lives." 

"When I began Sudden," she says, "I was thinking 'Okay, now write 
yourself a future.'" 

Donna attracts needy, inadequate men like Murphy, an English 
professor who sadistically lusts after his own idealized image of 
\ her, and Adam, a struggling young actor who can't get it up. 
Shelly has Donna glide down city streets, attempting to lift her- 
self from despair by doing her best Mary Tyler Moore imitation, 
waving a flimsy wrist and grinning pathetically at passers-by. 
But the fortune teller's words ring over and over in her mind: 
I am in a vortex. I am in a vortex. 
"Donna is definitely an exaggerated version of me in my 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



twenties," Shelly admits. "Back then I 
was living like her character — 
scouring the underbelly of 
Manhattan, floating in my own 
fantasy world, getting entangled 
in bad relationships." She laughs, 
"As Lily Tomlin says, I was 'search- 
ing for signs of intelligent life in the 
universe.' " 



■ ROM THE OUTSET, SHELLY KNEW 
she'd be following an independent 
low-budget course with her directorial 
debut — a fact she kept in mind when 
writing the script. "I knew that such a 
film wouldn't find funding if it were writ- 
ten for a large budget, so I kept it real 
small — few locations, a couple of recur- 
ring characters, lots of street exteriors to be 
shot in a guerrilla filmmaking way: quick 
and on the fly," she says in her production 
notes. She condensed all the film's locations 
to within a few blocks of her West Village 
home. And she hired Jim Denault, known for 
his award-winning cinematography in Nadja, 
because he came from a lighting background, 
and "what suffers most in quick, guerrilla-style 
filming is lighting." 

By early 1995 it was time to find the cash. 
Shelly 's script had a public reading as part of the 
Nuyorican Poets Cafe's "Fifth Night Series," a 
hotbed for ambitious screenwriters and talent 
scouts. The next day she had more than 20 calls 
from interested producers. Marcia Kirkley, then acquisitions director at 
October Films, was among those in the audience who was impressed. 
Shelly found Kirkley to be a convincing suitor and credits her as being 
the "first important door" that opened. 

Kirkley and I spoke over the phone. "Adrienne's script was one of 
the funniest, smartest, and most original scripts I had ever encoun- 
tered," she said. At first she took the script to October, which "seriously 
considered" it for a while but eventually declined. "They weren't mak- 
ing many low-budget films then," says Kirkley, adding, "and still aren't." 

So Kirkley used her business connections and MBA smarts to put 
together a comprehensive financial package that convinced 16 savvy 
private investment bankers to finance the film. She says her investors 
didn't know who Shelly was and probably didn't care. 

When asked how she convinced such straight and narrow business- 
men to finance a risky, artistic endeavor like an independent film, 
Kirkley says, "These people know me and my experience. But ulti- 
mately, they had to go on faith." With their support, Kirkley left 
October in August to start her own production company, Homegrown 
Pictures, and within weeks the cameras were rolling. (Kirkley has asso- 
ciate-produced two low-budget 35mm features shot in New York: Bad 
Girls by Amos Kolleck and Zero Coo! by Isac Zepel; and executive pro- 
duced Eve Annenberg's indie feature Dogs: The Rise and Fall of an All- 
Girl Bookie ]oint.) 




Kirkley says Sudden Manhattan was put together with a budget of 

$750,000; about $500,000 was the operational cash budget and the 

remainder was deferred. Luckily, Shelly found it a delicious challenge 

to make a film with so little money. She offers her creative music 

score, put together by Pat Irwin of B-52s fame, as an example of 

something wonderful that might not have happened had she been 

working with a bigger budget. Irwin found several pieces of mood 

music at low cost at the Corelli Jacobs music library. This is the 

kind of place, Shelly says, where "You can go in and say 'I need a 

forties early reggae piece reminiscent of Sinatra,' and they'll find 

something for you." 

Even so, Shelly laments the downside of low budgets, like the 

fact that many members of her cast and crew agreed to deferred 

salaries. "I can't wait until I can pay people what they're worth," 

she says. It probably helps that her cast is made up largely of 

friends and acquaintances, although a few parts were given to 

people she'd never worked with, like Louise Lasser, Roger 

Rees, and Hynden Walch. 

Shelly is grateful she wasn't pressured to cast more famous 
actors. "I didn't have to worry about expensive trailers, 
meals, special treatment, hissy fits. There just wasn't the 
money for attitude." She and casting director Ellen Parks 
(Flirting with Disaster) chose people for their talent as well 
as their ability to handle "no-frills" conditions. 
Probably her most difficult casting decision was putting 
herself in the lead role. After auditioning 80 actresses, 
Shelly realized that "in writing Donna, I had written 
myself. Either someone was going to have to do a real- 
ly good imitation of me, or I would have to play the 
part. In the end, it was a storytelling decision." 



V^N A STORMY HALLOW'S EVE, SHELLY AND I CON- 
tinue our interview by phone. Her cat purrs at her feet, and my dog 
snores beside me on the couch. It's 9 p.m. and she's been directing a 
screenplay she wrote for Lifetime's Independent Woman's Film Fest 
since four in the morning. With a weary sigh, Shelly lets out a little 
low-budget frustration. "One day I'd like to shoot everything just the 
way I wrote it." Today a scene involving 40 extras in a ballroom ended 
up being shot with two couples in a living room. 

The movie's main character, Lois, is loosely based on Shelly 's own 
mother. (Her mother also makes a cameo in Sudden Manhattan as the 
"bunny lady.") Shelly describes the story's plot: "Lois is a suburban, 
middle-aged housewife who reads Harlequin romances, fantasizes 
about the lawnboy, and plays mahjongg all day." 

Shelly, born in a suburban Queens neighborhood that's 95 percent 
Jewish, "couldn't wait to escape," so she started acting at age fifteen, 
studied theater in Manhattan, and performed in summer stock. After 
graduating from high school on Long Island, Shelly studied film at 
Boston University where she "learned nothing." But her education was 
cut short when she took ill her junior year. "I caught a virus, Bell's 
Palsy, that paralyzed half of my face. It had happened once before 
when I was fifteen and lasted a month. It wasn't supposed to come 
back, but it did." 

The therapy included large doses of Cortisone that left Shelly 
deranged and wandering about seeing halos. "I'm not sure what was 
happening to me biochemically, but it was very scary. I told myself then 

Photos p. 25-26, Anne K. Stenstad, courtesy Homegrown Pictures 



26 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



that if this ended, I would quit school and follow my real heart's desire 
to Manhattan and pursue a career in acting."Within a year, she found 
her acting coach, Richard Niles (who is still with her today) , and indie 
director Hal Hartley, who put her on the map with his first two films, 
The Unbelievable Truth (1990) and Trust (1991). Shelly snared the role 
of Audrey in The Unbelievable Truth by answering an ad in Backstage. 
She sent in her headshot, got called back with 200 other women, and 
then had to audition three times for the part. 

Her performance in these films garnered her international appeal as 
a kind of underground cult heroine. Shelly laughs at this image, but 
agrees, "I do appeal to a certain audience. And if they are under- 
ground, that's fine with me." She says she has turned down high-pay- 
ing TV parts in order to preserve a certain level of anonymity that she 
enjoys in the United States. 

It is true that she may be better known abroad. This December, 
there was a retrospective of her work in Taiwan, while in Chicago a 
lady in the audience tells Shelly, "You were very natural in the film. 
Have you ever pursued acting?" Shelly smiles and says, yes, actually 
she's done twelve films. 

And yet Shelly has a loyal following among American audiences. 




She spoke of two nervous eighteen-year-old film students who came up 
to her after the screening to let her know how much they appreciated 
her work. "They also told me, as aspiring female filmmakers, how hard 
it is to be heard, how no one cares. It is depressing at times. For 
instance, I was the only American woman invited to the Chicago Film 
Festival." Her advice to the young female filmmakers was to resist 
being silenced and "never apologize or feel like what you have to say 
isn't important." 

She credits Hartley with inspiring her tenacious attitude. "With 
Hal, well, there's nothing namby-pamby about him. He has a specific 
style and idea and he bluntly, forcefully, yet kindly, carries it through." 
She continues, "We as women have been encouraged to accommodate 
everybody, not step on anyone's toes, follow the ol' rule book. Hal 
helped teach me to aggressively pursue my vision." 

In directing Sudden Manhattan, Shelly needed to maintain this kind 
of confidence. "For instance," says Shelly, "I used a playback monitor 
to direct but couldn't let myself get self-conscious. I literally looked at 



myself as a piece of set furniture. I was only interested in how I was 
working in the scene as a whole." 

Sometimes she faltered. Shelly recalls a scene where everyone had 
just arrived at Donna's apartment. Looking at replays of the scene, 
Shelly felt she was acting "too neurotic." It brought up another Hartley 
lesson: how important it is for the central character in a comedy to 
remain grounded. 

"It's tempting when your supporting actors are going nuts to join the 
party, but I had to relate to the audience and therefore be somewhat 
normal," she says. "Donna may doubt her sanity in my film, but her 
behavior itself isn't batty. That's why my performance in that scene was 
giving me trouble." 

She had the same problem in directing Tim Guinee as Adam. 
"When he started to go boing with the other actors, I'd remind him 
'Tim, leading man.' Above all, the storytelling, the hero's journey, has 
to be a bit universal." 

She found that stumbling blocks for a first-time director are 

inevitable. But in retrospect, her worst experiences during the making 

of Sudden Manhattan were due to circumstances beyond her control. 

She says the key is not to panic when a) your DP who is supposed to 

shoot in three weeks, quits for a higher-paying 

job; b) you catch a stomach virus and have to 

go to the hospital for dehydration two weeks 

before shooting; c) you break up with your 

boyfriend during the sound mix; or d) your 

apartment is completely cleaned out by thieves 

during editing. 

Her advice to aspiring filmmakers is "Don't 
show a film before it's ready." She thinks she 
jumped the gun by showing Sudden Manhattan 
in LA. before tightening it up and doing some 
test screenings. "When you have to edit that 
fast, it's so easy to become entrenched in the 
work and lose all objectivity, because you just 
want to show that finished product." 

Phaedra Cinema, a new independent dis- 
tributor and production company out of L.A., 
has picked up Sudden Manhattan as its first 
release. Greg Hatanaka, president of Phaedra 
and CEO of Filmopolis, a new theatrical dis- 
tributor (which handled Ma Saison Preferee with Catherine Deneuve), 
says, "Phaedra seeks to give low-budget films exposure." This support 
for female, independent talent is what attracted Shelly and Kirkley, 
who declined an offer from a bigger distributor in favor of Phaedra, 
which ultimately will open the film in a greater number of cities. 

When asked whether she'd like to move on to bigger budgets as a 
director, Shelly says she's happy in the independent arena. "I like the 
freedom of independent film, the spontaneous, industrious process 
whereby you have to think by the seat of your pants." 

Although she wouldn't refuse a bigger budget, Shelly doesn't think 
her writing will attract Hollywood anytime soon. "The women in my 
films are not window-dressing." 

When all is said and done, Shelly remains true to her heart's desire. 
"My films are not a calling card," she declares. "They're my life." 

Deirdre Guthrie is a freelance writer published in the Village Voice and is currently 
writing a piece based on her travels with the Big Apple Circus. 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



jj<4i^©^8fcfitffi® < 0M 



by Max 




the: ishjin/iiseir oi 








Tl— 1 EATERS 


HAS 


GROWIM. S 


O WHV r 


IS 


IT 


STILL SO 


HAIRD 


FOR INDEPENDENT 


El LIVI MAKERS 



IVI 



IB 



—* • 



Filmmaker ■* 

lara Lee had every reason to believe the September 13 New York opening 
of her documentary Synthetic Pleasures would go off without a hitch. As dis- 
tributor of her own film, Lee had lined up two high-profile art theaters — the 
Cinema Village on East 12th Street and City Cinema on West 59th — and 
had supported these bookings with 



$65,000 in pre-opening newspaper 
and magazine ads. Then Lee got a 

taste of how the film business operates. 

One day before the Friday opening, she was informed by City 
Cinema that Synthetic Pleasures' booking was being cancelled. 
Miramax, she was told, wanted to hold over Trairispotting, and City 
Cinema wanted to accommodate them without interfering with 
Orion's American Buffalo, which was scheduled to open on the same 
day as Synthetic Pleasures. In the resulting reshuffling, the circuit held 



Trainspotting in its Cinema 2 and gave Cinema 3 to Orion for Buffalo. 

Synthetic Pleasures wound up playing only the Cinema Village, and 
by then it was too late to correct most of the ads in the New York 
Times, New York Post, Newsday, Time Out, and the Village Voice in time 
for the opening weekend engagement. 

"They were really rude," said Lee of City Cinema. "They said, 'We 
have to screw someone, and who are we going to screw? You.' " 

Even jaded industry people were taken aback by the last-minute 
dumping of Synthetic Pleasures, given that exhibitors usually provide a 
one- to two-week warning tor cancellations. The circuit also declined 



28 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



to offer Lee a "moveover" to a different City Cinema theater to com- 
pensate for the loss. "Now all they are offering me is a midnight screen- 
ing at the Angelika, and I have to swallow that. I'm getting very bitter 
about the film industry." 

Lee is not the only one. The same week as the Synthetic Pleasures 



How many "art houses" are there, anyway? 



848 simulta- 
neous play- 
dates (as it did in mid-September) 
would support the notion of a healthy 
demand for arthouse fare. But the term 




debacle, documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky presumed 
they were opening Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills 
on two screens at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan. Days before the 
scheduled opening (and after an expenditure of $20,000 in advertising 
costs), the self- distributors were informed that one of the screens was 
being pulled because Sony Pictures Classics wanted to hold over the 
German film Brother of Sleep. 

Both Synthetic Pleasures and Paradise Lost were casualties in the film 
food chain, where the strong devour the weak in the struggle for screen 
time. Their experiences raise serious questions about the availability of 
art screens to small independent films — a situation that will presum- 
ably worsen as the Darwinian struggle intensifies and the methods used 
by specialty distributors and exhibitors begin to rival the ruthlessness 
of the Hollywood majors. 



A building binge 



HOW DO SUCH TALES OF WOE CONFORM TO OVERALL PERCEPTIONS OF A 
booming market for art movies? The key is whom you ask and where 
they fit in the food chain. From the broader industry perspective, 
Miramax's arty Emma is a specialized release. The fact that it secured 



"arthouse fare" obscures the differences 
between films like Emma and those like 
Synthetic Pleasures that don't have 
Miramax/Disney's marketing clout, 
P&A budget, and power over 
exhibitors. 

From the top, the outlook is positive. 
"There's a tremendous proliferation of 
art screens nationally," says Dick 
Morris, a Sarasota, Florida, film booker 
who handles 20 art cinemas (comprising 
50 to 60 screens) in as many Southern 
cities. "If you live in a moderately-sized 
city or even a city of more than 100,000 
people, you can access close to fifty of 
the so-called art films." 

This parallels a 16.8 percent growth in the number of U.S. theater 
screens over the past decade. In the boom theater-building year of 
1986, there were an estimated 22,765 screens in the country. In 1994 
(the most recent year for which figures are available from the Motion 
Picture Association of America) there were 26,586 screens. Currently 
there are an estimated 29,000 screens. 

Greg Laemmle, vice president of the Los Angeles-based arl circuit 



""■■ 



It is difficult to determine the actual num- 
ber of specialty cinemas in the United 
States, since this information is tracked 
by neither the National Association ot 
Theatre Owners nor Entertainment 
Data, Inc. — the main industry statisti- 
cians. 

Bill Banning of the San Francisco- 
based Roxie Releasing estimates there 
are around 500 screens that show art 
product, including those mixing and 
matching specialty films with more 
commercial releases. 

While most agree that exhibition of 
the most prominent specialized releas- 
es has increased, many believe there 
has been serious slippage in the num- 
ber of independent calendar houses 
that historically favored booking foreign 
and independent films. Says Marcus Hu 
of Strand Releasing, "I would say it has 
diminished by 60 to 70 percent over 
twenty years." 

Similarly, Z magazine film critic 
Michael Bronski reported that the num- 
ber of U.S. independent art and reperto- 
ry screens shrank from 290 to 60 
between the years 1984 and 1989. 

Print orders for specialized films 
fluctuate dramatically (and are further 
confused by the ability of multiplexes to 
project a single print in more than one 
auditorium through automated inter- 
locking projection systems). Strand, for 
example, was able to play its 150-200 
dates of Stonewall by bicycling 20 
prints around the country. Zeitgeist used 
even fewer prints (12) of The 
Umbrellas of Cherbourg for nearly as 
many playdates. Sony made more than 
100 prints for its platform release of 
Welcome to the Dollhouse. Fox 
Searchlight, on the other hand, had The 
Brothers McMullen on 367 screens by 
the eighth week of release. 

— M.A. 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



Laemmle Theatres, believes the theatrical market for specialty films is 
healthier now than it was five years ago. "The [distribution] companies 
are in a better position to spend marketing dollars and take the gam- 
bles inherent in putting together large advertising campaigns. And I 
see the films crossing over to larger audiences. You know business is 
good when you don't have enough screens to show the product." 

All this encouraging news, however, depends upon how one defines 
art screens. When considering the increase in art screens nationally, it 
is important to determine whether the screens in ques- 
tion are full-time or sporadic art venues and whether 
their bookers are simply cherry-picking from the largest 
specialty distributors — the Miramaxes, Fine Lines, and 
so on — and ignoring the smaller distributors and self- dis- 
tributing filmmakers. "Some of the people we used to do 
business with, very disturbingly, are using bookers who 
have relationships with the five biggest companies," says 
Zeitgeist Films co-president Nancy Gerstman. She is 
concerned about the recent tendency for the few 
remaining owners of individual screens to use bookers 
who block book films into groups of independent the- 
aters. The bottom line is that even a theater with con- 
sistent specialized booking policies offers no guarantees 
that its doors will be open to small art product. 

In a similar vein, one's level of optimism about the 
arthouse market hinges on how one defines independent 
film. "I don't know whether you can call Emma or Trainspotting really 
independent films," says Kino International general manager Gary 
Palmucci. It is films such as these that, more often than not, grab the 
art screens in the multiplexes — and stay there. 

"Theaters are getting advised now that it makes more economic 
sense to hold Trainspotting or Emma or Lone Star for five, six, seven, 
eight weeks, rather than take a chance on a smaller film for a one- or 
two-week engagement which might require [the theater] to get out 
and thump the tub a little bit, do some of that grassroots publicity," says 
Palmucci. He estimates that this philosophy has resulted in Kino losing 
access to half a dozen major U.S. cities, largely in Maryland, Virginia, 
and Vermont. 

"Those films are getting hundreds and hundreds of playdates, which 
is unheard offer art films. I remember United Artists Classics saying in 
1981 they had 185 playdates for [Francois Truffaut's] The Last Metro, 
and they considered that a smashing success at the time. If we had 
maybe 100 to 125 playdates, that would be considered a terrific success 
as well. Our most successful film — [Julie Dash's 1991 drama] Daughters 
of the Dust — had maybe 200 to 250 playdates. I think there's been a net 
loss in the number of playdates for the more narrowly specialized art 
film releases." 

The exhibition food chain 

The reason WHY IS SIMPLE: in this dog-eat-dog world, arthouses 
are having to book more commercial films in order to subsidize the 
truly independent fare. This chips away at available screens, but it also 
keeps independents' theatrical allies afloat. Landmark Theatre 
Corporation, for instance, is a 148-screen circuit that is the largest 
exhibitor of foreign language and independent fare in North America, 
responsible for 25-50 percent of all art film revenue in the U.S. 
Relatively speaking, however, it is a very small chain, competing with 



circuits of 2,000 screens. Now 24 years old, Landmark was "on the 
edge of bankruptcy for 15 years," senior vice president of film buying 
and marketing Bert Manzari said on a panel at this year's Independent 
Feature Film Market. "We're now profitable because, one, the audi- 
ence has increased, and two, we'll play A River Runs Through It 
because it can make money." 

Echoes Dick Morris, "We're getting a lot of 'tweeners — pictures 
that could play commercially but are required on the art screens, so 







How do you define arthouse? Specialty films now make it into all types of theaters: from (L-R) the tiny, filmmaker-friendlQ 
the largest circuit dedicated to arthouse product, to AMC's new megaplexes, such as the 24-screen theater in Dallas. 
Courtesy AMC & Landmark; Quad photo: Patricia Thomson 

the theaters can afford to play Lamerica and Rendezvous in Paris." 

Ironically, Landmark must now contend with competition from the 
infinitely more powerful Cineplex Odeon (835 U.S. screens at 182 
locations) and AMC (1,807 screens at 230 locations), both of which 
have made inroads into specialty film exhibition over the years. Many 
of the 150-200 playdates for Strand Releasing's Stonewall (1996) for 
example, were from these circuits, reports Strand co-president Marcus 
Hu. 

"I personally have been responsible, for better or tor worse, for the 
introduction of the art screens in the multiplexes," admits Morris, who 
began this booking method in the Ft. Lauderdale market after he 
found little interest in art films from the smaller exhibitors. Morris 
managed to coax the AMC and Carmike chains into reserving a few 
of their multiplex screens tor specialized releases. 

"The commercial guys, until recently, filled a void in the commu- 
nity by devoting one or two screens to art," says Morris. "That is now- 
changing rapidly. The change is the [24-screen] megaplexes are now 
devoting a couple of screens to art, competing tor the larger-grossing 
art movies with the very theaters that promoted the films initially in 
the city, that created an appetite in the market tor it." 

What remains to be seen is whether these new megaplexes will 
drive the smaller chains out of business. Many believe they won't, if 
only out of skepticism about their long-term commitment to specialty 
exhibition. Says Palmucci, "AMC has said they were going to have art 
screens. ..and it always fails, because they really aren't willing to do that 
enormous outreach that you have to do to have an independent 
screen." 

Morris, who regards megaplexes as "Walmart with popcorn," adds 
that their interest in specialized movies is limited to whatever pictures 
make an impressive showing on Variety's weekly box-office charts. 

More directly affecting independent exhibition is the impact of the 
mega- and multiplexes on single theaters, which are slowly disappear- 
ing. One independent art theater owner compared the arrival of a 



30 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



Landmark theater to a Starbucks franchise opening down the street 
from a small coffee house. 

Manzari does not deny the impact his circuit has had on indepen- 
dent theaters. "We never go into the marketplace with the intent to 
hurt anybody, generally speaking, because no matter how many screens 
we build, there's never enough to go around." Manzari adds that there 
are many specialty films that Landmark simply cannot play, and that 
this should encourage independent exhibitors to counter-program 

Landmark's crowded schedule. 
Bill Banning knows a thing or two 
about counter-programming. As 
owner of the 300-seat Roxie cinema 
in San Francisco, Banning has wit- 
nessed first-hand how larger circuits 
lure art product away from indepen- 
dent houses. Banning's theater has 
survived by programming the types 
of obscure and eclectic films that 
other local exhibitors tend not to 
pursue. The Roxie also benefits from 
being used as a launching pad for 
films acquired by Banning's distribu- 
tion arm, Roxie Releasing (John 
Dahl's Red Rock West began its the- 
atrical life in this theater). "You just 
have to go with the flow," explains 
Banning of the highly competitive marketplace. "If there are no French 
films out there, you show Hong Kong or the best of the American inde- 
pendents." 




Jl Quad in New York, to the Landmark Theatre chain, 



Pressure points 



Then there is the explosive matter of evictions — films being 
prematurely ejected from screens in order to accommodate product 
from larger, more influential distributors. "It can be very problematic 
and stressful," says Kino's Palmucci. "You're often in situations where 
you get pushed off a screen because of the volume of films that a com- 
pany like Miramax is releasing and the fact that a company like 
Landmark is often obligated to try to accommodate them as generous- 
ly as possible... We've been on the receiving end of that many times." 

"There is clearly pressure from the larger distributors of specialized 
films," concedes Landmark's Manzari. "When someone has thirty films 
a year, they tend to get a lot more attention than someone with five or 
ten." 

Greg Laemmle admits to not booking as many small independent 
films in his 24-screen chain as he did five years ago, even if the film- 
maker or distributor is willing to four-wall a screen. "Customer rela- 
tions are important, and you have to make sure you are servicing your 
regular customers. I tell the smaller distributors that if they're on 
screen, [then] Miramax, Sony, or whatever are not on screen, and 
whatever [the smaller distributors'] films are doing [at the box 
office] — it's at least something." 

Of course, this principle is operative all the way down the food 
chain, from the studios to the mini-majors to the smaller distributors 
to the self-distributor. A low-budget documentary like Doug Pray's 
Hype falls low on the chain, but it still had the clout to knock another 
independent documentary, Paradise Lost, off a Landmark screen in 



Portland, Oregon, three days earlier than scheduled. In addition to 
Hype's obvious regional appeal — the film is about the rise of Seattle 
grunge bands and the hype surrounding that — it also had the advan- 
tage of having a distributor supporting it. Small as Cinepix Film 
Properties may be, it still has more product in the pipeline than the 
filmmaking team of Berlinger and Sinofsky. 

There's also the issue of timing. Manzari expresses frustration at 
smaller independents openly trying to compete during the prime exhi- 
bition seasons. Landmark, he claims, was desperate for indie product 
in the late summer/early fall of this year, but too many independents 
chose to open in the more prestigious mid-fall to winter season — 
resulting in what Manzari claims to be the most crowded period of 
films he's seen in his two decades in the business. "We had to be just 
draconian....We had to say: 'This film cannot play in this time period.'" 

Zeitgeist had the good fortune not to get trapped in a crowded 
release environment during last year's reissue of Jacques Demy's The 
Umbrellas of Cherbourg. "We were able to book 150 playdates during 
[April-June], which was really a miracle, because before that time we 
had a lot of trouble even getting [our] films into independent the- 
aters," explains Gerstman. "But I did notice that once July came and 
Trainspotting and Emma and Lone Star and all of these films started 
opening.. .those theaters were completely closed to us. We were just 
closed off." 



Call in the Cavalry 



Jeff Lipsky, co-founder of October Films and writer-director of 

the independent film Childhood's End, is baffled by the lack of people 
willing to invest in specialized exhibition. "Almost nobody has invest- 
ed significant money in art theaters," he says with exasperation. "I'm 
not talking New York City. I'm talking markets like Las Vegas, Philly — 
where there is only one art exhibitor. I'm talking Boston, where every 
single theater [in the city proper] is owned by the same circuit." 

Lipsky believes an art operation must have at least five to six screens 
to survive. While he agrees there has been an overall increase in the 
number of art screens, art complexes have not been on the rise. (These 
cost about $2 million to open nowadays, according to Landmark's 
Manzari.) Moreover, "what is entirely absent are entrepreneurs whose 
soul and passion is exclusively art product," says Lipsky. 

One noteworthy exception praised by Lipsky is Ray Posel, owner of 
the new Ritz Voorhees in Voorhees, New Jersey, a 12-screen multiplex 
situated 25 miles east of Philadelphia. Amazingly, as of early October, 
all 12 Ritz screens, much to Lipsky's delight, were exhibiting art releas- 
es from many prominent specialized distributors. The question remains 
as to whether the Ritz will be able to continue this policy, or whether 
it will gradually phase in more mainstream fare, as the popular 
Angelika Film Center in Manhattan has been known to do. 

Ed Arentz, who runs the 238-seat Cinema Village — New York's only 
independent single-screen arthouse — remains very bullish on arthouse 
exhibition. "You have to be very resourceful and creative, kind of like 
any other business," he explains. "The major circuits will nevei be able 
to provide a setting that's going to be appropriate for a full rangi I 
cialty/art/foreign product that washes ashore here. It requires t< on uch 

attention that they're not able to give Primarily they' I 

estate and popcorn business " 

Max J. Ah. i, fan, D.C., writer u 

comrm 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPE'JDENT 31 



[ 



ibmmm 



i 



Y 



ou're sitting on the world's 
greatest undiscovered film. 
Although your opinion may be 
somewhat biased because you 
made that film, you're baffled that 
no one has even offered to pick up 
rights for North Dakota. You can't 
get the major festival programmers 
to bite, and even the smallest, 
hard-working distributor can't see a 
marketing hook. You've given two 
years to something cryptically 
called art — and suddenly this is the 
end of the line? Not necessarily. 
You can always four-wall. 

Four what? 

Four-walling is another method of self-distribution, defined as the 
practice of renting a theater — literally taking control of its four walls — 
to exhibit a film. The exhibitor sets a rental fee based on the theater's 
expenses (referred to as the "nut"), and the filmmaker who pays that 
fee can spool his or her print at the theater for a specified period of 
time. The filmmaker keeps all box office receipts; the theater gets 
nothing. If the film takes in less than the rental fee, you lose money. 
But whatever you take above the rental, you take home. Cover your 
costs and keep the profit. Sounds terrific, right? 

Like every other aspect of independent filmmaking, four-walling is 
more complex than it sounds, an undertaking with complex mitigating 
factors that warrant serious deliberation before you even pick up the 
phone. First, there are the drawbacks, including substantial up-front 
costs. The theater fee usually has to be paid at least a week and some- 
times a month in advance. Because the exhibitor gives up his portion 
of the box office, all related costs, like advertising and other promo- 
tional efforts, are yours and yours only. And because you do not have 
a distributor, expenses like print shipping and travel costs come from 
your piggy bank. Adding to the list are hidden factors like the policies 
of local publications, whose advertising departments often require pre- 
payment. And even if you cover all these bases, plenty more can go 
wrong. 

"Often exhibitors just don't give it the kind of respect they give 
other films," says director Robert Munich, who four-walled his film The 
Pros and Cons of Breathing around the country last year. "You're like 
some schmuck dragging your print around. [It] gets ripped, cigarette 
ashes all over it, they spool the reels in the wrong order.... There was 
even one projectionist who Windexed the window in the booth during 



32 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 






A sampling 


of theaters 






that participate in 4-walling. 


Theater 


Location 


Contact 


Phone 


Plaza Twin 


Brooklyn, NY 


Delphi 


(718)636-0110 


The Quad 


New York, NY 


Ron Lesser 


(212) 925-4776 


Cinema Village 


New York, NY 


Ed Arentz 


(212)431-5119 


The Brattle 


Boston, MA 


Connie White 


(617) 739-2901 


Coolidge Corner 


Boston, MA 


Sasha Berman 


(617) 734-2501 


Lefont Theaters 


Atlanta, GA 


George Lefont 


(404) 261-1070 


CineMagic 


Pittsburgh, PA 


Arlene Wiener 


(412) 281-9893 


Pvitz Theater 


Philadelphia, PA 


Ray Bosel 


(941) 349-9597 


Wilmette Theater Chicago, IL 


Richard Stern 


(847) 251-7411 


Drexel Theaters 


Columbus, OH 


Jeff Frank 


(614) 231-1050 


Key Theater 


Washington, D.C 


Karen O'Hara 


(202).965.4401 



the movie." Worse, says Munich, is the fleeting chance you have to 
attract an audience. "By the end of our run we were selling out," recalls 
Munich of his starting run in hometown Chicago, "but [the exhibitor] 
pulled the film. Other theaters hear about that and don't even want to 
book it." Munich said he felt like P T Barnum at times. "It's like you're 
on-call," he marvels. "A theater from San Francisco will call on 
Monday and say your run starts Friday. You can't get into the local 
paper because it closed yesterday.. ..It's a trip." 

"I'm not sure I would recommend that filmmakers start going out 
and four- walling," says distributor Sande Zeig of Artistic License. "You 
have to have a substantial amount of cash. ..you sometimes have to 
bring in your own staff to collect the money, tear tickets, count heads, 
and deposit the money in the bank.... You might make more money, but 
the risk is all your own." 

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky became self-distribution legends 
with Brother's Keeper in 1995. But after some brief flings with four- 
walling, the duo formed their own distribution company to book their 
films, including last year's Sundance entry Paradise Lost, in traditional 
percentage versus guarantee fashion. "We do not four-wall," Berlinger 
says. "If you think your film is going to perform and you can convince 
the theater it's going to perform, it's always better to share the risk." 

But what if you have a small, truly unique film and no one will share 
that burden? Michael Seitzman, director of Arrow Releasing's current 
Farmer and Chase, took one foray into four-walling when he distributed 
Vukovar (which he did not direct) , a foreign-language film about war- 
torn Bosnia. Finding a few exhibitors skittish about the film, Seitzman 
began researching a theater's nut ahead of time, so he knew when he 
was being offered a fair deal and when the theater was jacking up the 
price. As a result, he got some good deals. "Sometimes it's difficult to 
get a theater to commit because there's such a glut in the -market," 
Seitzman says, "but many places aren't filling their houses. Everything 
is a matter of timing — what's coming out, the season, what the com- 
petition is." 

Exhibitors also have concerns. Arlene Wiener of CineMagic 
Theaters in Pittsburgh worries that filmmakers are unaware of how 
expensive the practice has become. But, she says, "We surely consider 
it. CineMagic Theaters are available for four- walling." Ed Arentz, the 
booker for New York's Cinema Village, says he considers four-walling 



Above: Director John O'Brien with Fred Turtle, the star of Man With a Plan. 

Photo: Jack Rowell 

Below: Cinema Village, where O'Brien four-walled for his week-long run in New York. 

Photo: Patricia Thomson 



when he likes a film that's not commercial enough for 
a traditional run. But, he adds, "we can't rent the the- 
ater to just anyone. Even though it's suggested that as 
an exhibitor your costs are covered, if it causes yon 
disaster among your base audience and local critics, 
you'll have a difficult time convincing them to come 
back next time." 

Ron Lesser, of New York's Quad Theater, the 
exhibitor most often praised by distributors and film- 
makers for its indie -friendly attitude, says "the non- 
success is the rule, not the exception, although a New 
York venue does have some meaning when you make 
a video or foreign sale." Lesser prefers straight "90/10" 
deals, the industry standard. First, the theater takes 
box office receipts until its house expenses are met. 
Thereafter, 90 cents of every dollar goes to the dis- 
tributor (or filmmaker) and the remaining 10 cents to the theater. 
Often a guarantee is built into the deal, which specifies a minimum 
amount the distributor (or filmmaker) will receive regardless of the 
total box office receipts. "We give an filmmaker directly the same deal 
we give to the majors," says Lesser. "The small guys, they need help 
more than the big guys. I'm a small guy. I understand that." 

At the Coolidge Corner, Boston's only nonprofit theater, Sasha 
Berman says the most successful four-wall in her experience is not an 
individual film, but a festival or special program like Spike and Mike's 
Animation Festival. "[It] comes to us twice a year. There's no risk on our 
part, because we are guaranteed a dollar amount," Berman explains. 
"They have a successful run because people look for it." Coolidge 
Corner also rents to filmmakers whose films fit into themes, like their 
Monday night Hong Kong series, and to entities like the Boston Jewish 
Film Festival. The Coolidge promotes four-walls like one of their own, 
with calendar listings and fliers. But Berman also says the absence of 
an advertising budget hurts: "Your chances for exposure are certainly 
decreased." 

Nonetheless, four-walling has distinct advantages for independent 
filmmakers, chief among them the ability to position a film in a certain 
market at a specific time. "Suddenly, you're in a position of strength," 
Zeig says. "If you have the money, you can get exactly the dates you 
want... which can help you do a grassroots marketing campaign or 
reach a certain community a month in advance of your film's arrival." 
Kay Shaw, who helped director Haile Gerima self- distribute Sankofa 
prior to joining indie distributor New Millenia Films, points out that 
four-walling gives you greater managerial flexibility. "How do you tar- 
get your audience? Attract press? Allocate resources? What's your next 
market?" she asks. "Those decisions are yours. Not somebody else's." 
Then there's the money. "You can collect your grosses quickly and pro- 
tect yourself." 



UO HOW DO YOU FOUR-WALL? LOOSELY, THE PROCESS INVOLVES FOUR 
distinct phases: 1) evaluating your product and the process; 2) 
researching potential markets and securing dates; 3) promoting your 
film; and 4) forming a strategy to widen your release. Shaw says a real- 
istic appraisal of who and where your audience is is crucial. "Everybody 
thinks everybody wants to see their film," says Shaw. "Get a grip. It's 
not going to happen." Marketing — that is, positioning the film in a 
given city and theater to make it accessible to its target audience — is 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



key to your success. Since you're probably not the best judge of your 
own material, second opinions can help. After a few hard lessons, Zeig 
listens more closely to exhibitors. "They said 'I don't think this film is 
going to work in my theater.' And they were right." 

Marlin Adams, General Manager of KJM3, a distribution agent ini- 
tially formed to act as marketing consultant for Kino's release of Julie 
Dash's Daughters of the Dust and also for Sankofa, says filmmakers need 
to evaluate the process as well. "If you can't find even one of the micro- 
distributors able to put the product in the marketplace for a fee, then 
you're looking at creating all these relationships yourself — the 
exhibitors, the local critics, the audience," he says. "You must get into 
the markets yourself and reach the communities that will patronize this 
product." 

Filmmakers should consider the length of time it takes to bring a 
film into markets across the country — anywhere between 18 months 
and two years. You can't make your next film simultaneously. And be 
realistic about resources: Most successful four-walling efforts start with 
"war chests" between $5,000 and $10,000. "The lowest I've ever four- 
walled is $2,000 a week in Baltimore," says Shaw. "The highest was 
$10,000 a week in New York. It's no joke." The lowest amount of 
money you need to four-wall, Shaw says with a wink, "is the amount of 
your rental and going to Kinko's" to copy fliers, laser-printed mini- 
posters, and press kits. 

Where to start is a difficult but important choice, given the thou- 
sands of markets available and the competitiveness gripping the top 
ten. Do careful research and find screens that have played similar prod- 
uct. "Look at similar films you yourself have seen," Adams says, "and 
find out what theaters those films have opened at. ...Talk to those peo- 
ple." 

A good rule of thumb is to take your film first to a market where you 
have a base, like your home town, the city where the film was made, or 
a locale relevant to your subject matter. If your film is about a military 
base, get to Norfolk, Virginia. If it's about young people, go to univer- 
sity towns. If there are prominent story lines featuring minorities, go to 
cities with similar populations. Once you locate your first market, Shaw 
advocates a preview screening (check with film schools and revival 
houses for cheap one-night stands) to which you invite people you 
think represent your core audience. Attend the screening and listen to 
the response. Is it working? Talk with and listen to the audience after- 
wards, maybe even use a questionnaire to probe their feelings, asking it 
they'd tell a friend to see the movie. 

As for scheduling, indies are booked more easily during the theatri- 
cal off-season: any time outside the summer or the Thanks- 
giving-Christmas-New Year's holiday corridor, when theaters do most 
of their yearly business. Late winter and spring, right before Memorial 
Day, are considered the best times for self-distributed indies. 

Homework is also important when making a deal. "The house 
expense in different markets really does vary," Zeig says. Familiarize 
yourself with the trade magazines, learn how to read the gross charts. 
"You can do a four-wall at an L.A. theater with 100 seats for $3,000 
and at the same time get 300 seats in Boston or Pittsburgh for $5,000. 
Without a little experience, I think people can be taken advantage of." 
And the actual terms of a rental depend on your own goals. Even 
though each theater will work differently, those terms are usually nego- 
tiable. A realistic, modest goal would be to break even. Is it more real- 
istic to expect profits or to concentrate on getting your work, and your 
name, before an audience, so the next time is easier? 

The gross of your first booking is, quite literally, either the game's 



first run or its last out. It's important to pull an audience in during the 
first week, so the theater will hold your dates and possibly extend your 
run. Promoting your film once you have marketed it is essential. As 
distinguished from marketing, promotion involves the tools — like paid 
advertising, press campaigns, and word of mouth — used to reach a tar- 
get audience so they identify your film as the film to see. 

Adams speaks of a community's "cultural grapevine" — that net- 
work that can expose a constituency to a product. This can include 
community leaders, educators, and journalists for neighborhood pub- 
lications who can help you make contacts at schools, churches, muse- 
ums, lecture venues, and recreational centers. "Saturation advertising 




'Lively, Funny, Dirty." 



spikf: t miKrs 




.^ 



FESTIVAL OP 
ANimATIDN 



/ 



SICK* TWISTED TO 



Bob Straus 
LA. Daily \e*s 



Tata i Tn p to th« Natty SMa of Toontown 

with 2S Mm and Dtraafad Cartoon 

for Aodtenccs 18 aad Om. 




Animation programs generally attract a devoted following 

and are among the most steadily successful at four-walling. 

Pictured: Better Than Grass, by Bonnie Leick,, featured in the feature-length 

complication, Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation 2 

Courtesy Festival Films 



does not net automatic results," Adams says. "We've gotten a response 
without doing print and broadcast campaigns." 

Filmmaker John O'Brien, who recently four-walled his Man with a 
Plan, a mock documentary about a plain-spoken Vermont farmer run- 
ning for Congress, concurs. "Advertising is highly overrated," he says. 
Pointing to the "three-hit" rule (the idea that a moviegoer needs expo- 
sure to a given property at least three times, like an ad, a review, and 
a poster, before making a decision to see the film), O'Brien says only 
major distributors can afford to abide by the rule and saturate markets. 
His film featured local personalities — a newscaster, a former employee 
of a statewide news bureau, and a former legislator from the Vermont 
House of Representatives — so he used them to hook media interest in 
his home state of Vermont. The movie's character drove a manure- 
spreader with the bumper sticker "Spread Fred," so the filmmaker 
made bumper stickers. Soon they were all over the state, O'Brien was 
given a reception in Washington, D.C., by the state's Congressional 



34 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



delegation and the Governor gave him a quote for a TV spot. (O'Brien 
recalls the taping: "We were coaching him: 'Would you say the film is 
hilarious?' 'Oh, yeah!' he'd say, 'it's hilarious!' ") 

"Word of mouth is the most potent form of advertising your film can 
get," Shaw says. "It can boost your film or kill it." To maximize "good 
word," consult people from your target audience. Find out what local 
radio stations and talk shows are popular with your target audience 
and get yourself on the air. Get referrals to relevant cultural events, 
local neighborhood newspapers (which often have cheap advertising 
rates), and the places the community congregates, from coffee shops 
and corner stores to community centers and apartment buildings. 
Fliers should go everywhere; if you're lucky, people will circulate them 
further. 

Even with his initial success, O'Brien was blindsided in a few areas. 
He laser-printed several dozen one-sheets and put them up as posters 
only to see them days later, blowing down the street, torn and stained. 
Finally, he had to have posters commercially printed at a cost of 
$4,000. Due to the voluminous news coverage in Vermont, O'Brien 
deemed a trailer unnecessary, something that hurt him when he 
expanded into Boston, the nearest major market. "It takes so much 
effort to think ahead, months ahead," he says. 

Remember that advertising is not just newspaper ads, but preview 
trailers and TV and radio spots. "Think about your images," Shaw 
advises. "Learn how to cut an effective trailer and broadcast spot." 
While you might not have the money to use them right away, you'll be 
sorry if you don't have the spots when you need them. You'll also need 
photographic material for news articles and reviews. Jeff Hill of Clein 
+ White Public Relations encourages filmmakers to think of just this 
moment when shooting their film. 

"Always, always, even if you're doing it yourself, take photographs 
from your production," he advises. "Always with your actors and in 
both black-and-white and color. Capture something from the film, with 
a still camera while you're actually shooting a few scenes." Hill also 
deems it wise for filmmakers to record their thoughts about the pro- 
duction, from how the film was cast to the choices they made, either 
in a journal or on tape. These can be used to create production notes, 
which are immensely valuable in publicizing a film. What about pub- 
licity during your shoot? "If anyone tells you they can get you press, 
don't listen to them," Hill says. "Have confidence in getting your 
movie made. Just shoot your film, get it in the can." 

If your initial bow is successful, you will have a short window of 
opportunity to secure other markets; being ready to pounce is essen- 
tial. Where you go next depends on what that first market was. If it was 
in the top ten, and you get a great review, it can become the core of an 
advertising campaign and be useful in convincing exhibitors in other 
top and secondary markets to book the film. Other than that, go where 
the interest is: Even if you only get one offer after your first week, book 
it and worry about the next date later. If you only have a handful of 
prints, Adams suggests going into the largest markets on both coasts 
first, which allows you to spend money where the audience is largest, 
and you can achieve bigger hits that will lead smaller markets to 
knock. "If you open big, the whole circuit will hear about it. Audiences 
will hear about it and critics will hear about it." In fact, some secondary 
markets will take their cues only from larger markets nearby and won't 
book a film unless it's played there. A few examples are Norfolk, 
Virginia, where theaters usually want a film to have played Baltimore 
or Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, where films are more easily booked 
if they've played Texas or southern California. While building your 



release is sometimes about proximity, sometimes it's about opportunity. 
You might be closer to, say, Boston, but if some Chicago critic saw your 
film in a festival and raved about it in an article, you might want to 
head there instead. 

One note of caution: make sure your box office grosses warrant 
widening your release. Although a theater's nut can range widely — 
from under $2,000 to $10,000 or more — conventional wisdom dictates 
that a successful opening in a major market is a healthy five-figure 
sum: $15,000 to $25,000 per screen. After that week, you can weath- 
er a decline in receipts of 20 percent at most. If you fall off less than 20 
percent, you might be justified in striking another print and getting a 
second screen; if you do so for two weeks in a row, that's a terrific indi- 
cation your film is working in the market and your promotional efforts 
are paying off. Use such a position to strike deals in as many other mar- 
kets as possible. A fall-off of 25-30 percent pretty much indicates your 
film is on its way out. Whether or not it's worth holding on to that 
screen depends on the options you have for that print. "If you have a 
winner on your hands," says Adams, "you want to be in ten of the top 
markets simultaneously. You can have one print per market, or more if 
possible. It's not unrealistic to put three or four prints into New York 
at once." Think of prints as buckets catching rain — when it's pouring 
box office, get more buckets out before the rain stops, which always 
happens eventually. 



s. 



»o what's most important when four-walling? The best an- 
swer may be that everything is the most important thing. As Adams 
says: "A lot of this business is to do your homework and be very pre- 
pared to be very lucky." Luck aside, creativity and organization are key. 

"Don't underestimate the resources you have in your own family 
and circle of friends," Shaw asserts. "This is about resourcefulness.... 
You need to be specific, clear, and task-oriented." Recalling her four- 
walling baptism during Sankofa, Shaw says, "I made up my own rules, 
because I didn't know what I was doing. But mystifying the process 
doesn't make it easier to get your film out there. Talk to people about 
it, get information, share your needs.... People can be very enthusiastic 
about helping a first-time filmmaker.... But you can't be afraid to ask." 

On the road with Fred, O'Brien has developed a four-walling crib 
sheet. "You need to have a pretty good film," he says. "Most people 
aren't going to replicate Brother's Keeper." And don't go overboard in 
shelling out cash. "Think very carefully about money," he says. "Save 
by doing less [rather] than more advertising, and target a specific 
group, buy a mailing list, put up a Web page." O'Brien also encourages 
filmmakers not to skim off the top for themselves. As of October, Man 
with a Plan grossed $200,000 nationwide. Two-thirds of that sum went 
to ongoing expenses; the remainder was plowed back into the film — 
striking more prints, printing more posters, sending out more media 
kits, booking more markets. 

"Try to get your dates as far ahead as possible, especially in the major 
markets," O'Brien advises. "This whole world works in ridiculous dead- 
lines, and you can get tripped up. So buy yourself some time. Then use 
that time. Get on the phone, return calls the same day. Don't wait to 
do anything because you feel you've got some breathing space. You 
don't. You never will." 

Mark J. Huisrnan is a New Ynrk-hased ino^i^.ulnni hmducer. 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 35 




a Boom of One's Own 

creemn 




by Andrea meyer 

& Roberto 

Quezada-Dardon 

You've completed your film and you're on the hunt for distribu- 
tiort- There's some interest — maybe even a few contacts in the indus- 
try love it and want to show it to some of their contacts. Either way, 
you need a big screen. 

In both New York and L.A., there are a number of options of vary- 
ing size, capacity, cost, and friendliness of bookers. The problem is not 
finding a screening room — especially in L.A., where they're more plen- 
tiful than palm trees — it's finding an affordable one, or the right one. 
Naturally, the size of your audience and who you've invited help deter- 
mine how much you should spend, so here's a list that represents a 
wide range of what's available: 

New York 

The Screening Room, 54 Varick St. Contact: Henry Hershkowitz, 

(212) 334-2100 

One of the newest and shiniest of the bunch, the Screening Room 
operates primarily as an arthouse movie theater with an attached 
restaurant, bar, and lounge. If you can afford it, you've got a one-stop 
premiere and after-party. Bonus points: If anyone dares leave your film 
to go to the restroom, there's speakers in the bathroom so they won't 
miss a word. 

• Seats: 262, including 7 loveseats. 

• Formats: 35 and 16mm; video projection. 

• There are also three private dining/screening rooms and i-rooms 
(interactive rooms) equipped for video, laser disc, and modem hook 
up. Rates run between $40 and $100 per hour, depending on the room, 
time, and day. 

• Hershkowitz says that the management would "find ways to give 
struggling independent filmmakers a break." 

• Rates: Before 1 p.m., $225/hr; 1-6 p.m., $325/hr; after 6 p.m., 
$625/hr. Evening screenings available only Mon. - Wed. 

36 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



in. New York and L.A. 



Angelika 57, 225 West 57th St. Contact: Joe Faleh, (212) 956- 
5015 

This large movie theater comes with a balcony. The management 
doesn't really want to rent for screenings, but will for the right price. 

• Seats: 570 

• Formats: 16 and 35mm. 

• Price varies, depending on time, day, and "who's calling." 

• Rates: Before noon on a weekday: $300/screening; weekend night, 
up to $3,000. 

The Broadway Screening Room, 1619 Broadway. Contact: Nina 
Wallace, (212) 307-0990 

They primarily do press screenings arranged through publicists and 
postproduction screenings for filmmakers like Woody Allen, Al 
Pacino, and Milos Forman. Stresses Wallace: "There's no eating or 
drinking, no smoking or lapdancing, no making out." 

• Seats: 50 chairs that are probably more comfortable than anything 
you have at home. 

• Formats: 16 and 35mm. 

• Projectionist/booker Wallace says they're occasionally willing to 
make a deal or work out a better time. "It depends on the soap opera 
story. But basically, the price is the price." 

• Rates: 10 a.m. -6 p.m. $200/hr; 6-10 p.m. $300/hr. 

Magno Sound & Video, 729 Broadway. Contact: Barbara Laing or 
Camille Way-Pene, (212) 302-2505 x3 

Magno offers three screening rooms of varying capacity, comfort, and 
cost. Students and Independent Feature Project members get a 10% 
discount. Filmmakers who are doing or have done postproduction 
work at Magno may also qualify for a discount. 

• Review 1: 68 seats, any format print. Rates: Before 6 p.m., $175/hr; 
6-10 p.m., $250/hr. 

• Review 2: 37 seats, 35mm capacity as well as 1/2" and 3/4" video. 



Pictured left: the Tribeca screening room 

Courtesy Tribeca Film Center 

Rates: Before 6 p.m. $150/hr; 6 p.m.-lO p.m. 
$200/hr. 

• Preview 9: 67 less-than-comfortable seats. 
All 35 mm composites (except digital) and 
16mm; no changeover capabilities. Rates: 
Before 6 p.m. $150/hr; 6 p.m. -10 p.m. 
$200/hr. 

Millennium, 66 East 4th St. Contact: 
Howard Guttenplan, (212) 673-0090 

A preview/reception bargain combo. 
Millennium has a large receiving area, and 
eating and drinking are permitted in the 
screening room. This is an indie -friendly 
organization sympathetic to independent film 
and video of all kinds. Guttenplan says: "The 
more independent, the better." 

• Seats: 100 

• Formats: 16mm, super-8, and video 

• Rates: 7-10:30 p.m., $70/ hr for noncom- 
mercial, nonprofit screenings; $90/hr if charg- 
ing admission. Before 7 p.m. or after 10:30 
p.m. (when facilities are usually closed), 
$95/hr; $11 5/hr if charging admission. Rates 
are doubled for commercial organizations. 

Planet Hollywood, 140 W. 57 th St. 
Contact: Sally Strasser, (212) 333-7827, 
x229 

You can do the snazzy premiere thing here, 
but it'll cost you: Planet Hollywood must do 
the catering. Also, availability is minimal; it's 
generally booked with in-house events. 

• Seats: 52 

• Formats: 16 and 35mm, 3/4", and 1/2" 
video 

• Rates: Noon-5 p.m. $200/hr; 5-10 p.m. 
$300/hr. For dailies, a $200 flat rate for 2 
hours. 

Den of Cin, 42-44 Avenue A at 3rd St. 
Contact: Philip Hartman or Doris Kornish, 
(212) 254-1919 

This screening room lies below Hartman and 

Kornish's new Two Boots Pizzeria and Video 

Store (with a library of 3,000 videos). The 

owners are also filmmakers, so you know 

they'll be sympathetic to your sob stories. 

•Seats: 40-50, on a variety of couches and 

chairs 

•Formats: Video projection only. 

•Food from Two Boots' Cajun-Italian menu is 

available (and at a 10 percent discount to 

AIVF members); there's also a small bar. 




WANT TO PURSUE A 



CAREER IN FILM... 



Nashville. 






Nashville's abundance of music videos, features, and documentaries 
make it a booming film center. So it's only natural that a top notch film school 
be added to the mix. Watkins Film School offers degree and professional 
certificate programs in producing, directing, screenwriting, cinematography, 
and editing. It's a hands-on education right from the start with an award- 
HQMnMin ^l^ M winning faculty and industry internships. 

Want more? How about an advisory 
board made up of the likes of Bruce 
Beresford, director (Driving Miss Daisy), 
Steven Haft, producer (Dead Poets Society), 
and Joan Tewkesbury, screenwriter 
(Nashville) and director. 

And, if your aspirations are high, but your 
finances aren't, you'll appreciate Watkins 
affordable education and financial aid 
availability. Call now for information. Then 
head south and make a major production 
out of your life. 




1-800-288-1420 

601 CHURCH ST,. NASHVILLE TN 37219 



WATKINS FILM SCHOOL IS PART OF THE WATKINS INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN. 
WATKINS IS ONE OF THE NATION'S OLDEST NON-PROFIT CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTERS. 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 37 





rave 



<^Cr 



EXTENSIVE SAMPLING + SOUND LIBRARY 
BETA SP ACQUISITION + LOCKUP 
CROSS PLATFORM MULTIMEDIA + WEB AUTHORING 



SoHo TELE » FAX 212:925:7759 

brave@ingress.com 



Technicolor. 

NEW YORK 

SALUTES THE FUTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY 
THE INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER 

PRODUCTION 
PROCESSING 

for your 

FEATURES 'TELEVISION 

COMMERCIALS • DOCUMENTARIES 

ALL SOUND AND VIDEO NEEDS 

35MM*16MM 



321 WEST 44TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10036 
212-582-7310 • FAX 212-265-9089 



• Rates: "I really can't say; we just opened," 
says Hartman. "But we're softies for indepen- 
dent filmmakers." 

Tribeca Film Center, 375 Greenwich St. 
Contact: Barry Manasch, (212) 941-3930 
or Nancy Friedman, (212) 941-4003 

Offers the charm of an old-time movie the- 
ater, only it's comfortable. Says Manasch: 
"Miramax is a big client because they're in 
the building, but it's only a small percentage." 
He says they'll rent to anyone. 

• Seats: 72, with extra chairs available. 

• Formats: Any. 

• Manasch says he'll occasionally negotiate a 
deal, and he tries to be flexible. 

• Rates: Before 10 a.m. -6 p.m., $250/hr; 
before or after, $350/hr. Same-day booking 
for dailies: day, $150/hr; night, $150/hr. 



Los Angeles 



Keith Harrier Production Services, 7070 
Waring Ave. (near La Brea). Contact: 213- 
930-2720 

If the size of the screen doesn't matter to you 
(it's 12-1/2 feet by 5-1/2 feet, but bigger than 
most TVs) and price does, this is the place 
you're looking for. 

• Seats: 17 theater seats and 2 sofas 

• Formats: 24 and 30 FPS projection. 35mm 
interlock as well as composite projection, but 
no 16mm facilities. 1:33, 1:85, 1:66, and 
Cinemascope formats. 

• Rates: 8 a.m. -6 p.m.: $55/hr; 6 p.m. -9 p.m.: 
$100/hr; 9 a.m. -11 p.m.: $200/hr; After 11 
p.m.: $300/hr; 6 a.m. -8 a.m.: $100/hr; 
Saturday to 6 p.m.: $100/hr; Sunday to 6 
p.m.: $200/hr. 

Charles Aidikoff Screening Room, 150 S. 
Rodeo Dr., Suite 140. Contact: (310) 274- 
0866 

This is who to use when Ovit: himself has 
RSVP'd your screening invitation. Charles 
Aidikoff is projectionist to the stars. The 81- 
year-old ex-New Yorker has been a 
Hollywood institution for 26 years, and was 
one of the first to build an off-lot projection 
room. 

• Seats: 53 

• Formats: 35mm and 16mm composite or 
interlock; Dolby, DTS Sound, or Magnetic 
soundtracks. Video: Beta SP, 3/4", 1/2" VHS, 
PAL, and SECAM capabilities. 

• Rates: Call for rates. He's happy to give 
them, but they vary too much according to 



38 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



the hour, day, and format to print here. 
However, they range from $180/hr (a mono 
composite film screened between 10 a.m. and 
6 p.m.) to $300/hr (a weekend screening of a 
35mm interlock film with multi-track and in- 
theater mixing) . 

• If you want to rent the reception room, it's 
$100/hr on weekdays and $125/hr on week- 
ends. Catering, wet bar, and limousine service 
are available. 

Raleigh Studios, 650 N. Bronson Ave. (at 
Melrose Ave.). Contact: (213) 871-5649 

Right across the street from Paramount 
Studios are three excellent mid-priced the- 
aters (that also sserve as home of the 
American Cinematheque's weekly Alter- 
native Screenings). Any would be great for 
impressing your Aunt Matilda who flew in to 
see your film — they're all on a working 
soundstage lot. Very comfortable theaters, 
excellent projection and a really cool 
Canteen to hold receptions afterwards. 

• The rates are for Monday-Friday only, 
although weekend rates are available. 

• The Chaplin Theater: 150 seats. 8 a.m.-6 
p.m.: $140/hr.; 6 p.m.-12 a.m.: $375/hr. 

• The Fairbanks Theater: 24 seats. 8 a.m.-6 
p.m.: $95/hr.; 6 p.m.-12 a.m.: $155/hr. 

• The Pickford Theater: 19 seats. Same rates 
as Fairbanks. 

• Formats: 35mm Dolby A, SR projection; 
16mm optical projection; Video projection 
equipment. Interlock screenings — 24 and 30 
fps; all formats, including Super 1:85 (very 
hard to find) and 2:35 AR. 

• A two-hour reception in the patio/cafe with 
two servers will run you about $730 if you 
provide the caterer. Otherwise, they'll do 
everything for prices ranging from $6.95 a 
person to $16.95 a person, 75-person mini- 



Finally, without naming names, if you have 
(or know someone who has) used a lab's ser- 
vices in the past, try calling in a favor. Some 
labs look the other way while you use their 
comfortable, well-equipped projection facili- 
ties. After all, the projectionists and theaters 
are there whether or not someone pays for 
them. 

Andrea Meyer is a freelance writer in New York City. 

Roberto Quezada-Dardon is an L.A. transplant who 

now lives in New York and is a frequent contributor 

to The Independent. 



WARP SOUND 

Audio Post Production 
for Film Video & Multimedia 

Scoring ~ Sound Design ~ Mixing 

Digital Audio Workstation 

Digital Signal Processing 

Audio Sculpting ~ SFX -Resynthesis 

Sonification ~ Environments 

Time Compression / Expansion 

Wildies ~ Spectral Morphology 

Granular Synthesis 

WARP SOUND INC. 

611 BROADWAY 

NEW YORK CITY 10012 

TEL: 212-475-0114 

FAX: 212-475-0335 

ad design: housner printing & design 212.594.4722 




Som • Subset- Snewown 



High Budget • Lo Budget 
No Budget 

Fast • Accurate 
Professional Turnaround 

Producer • Director • AD 
Team 



/Itlmktic Pictures 

212-460-8888 • 413-528-9193 



1997 Call For Entries 



The Cinema Arts Centre, 

former co-producer of the Long Island Film Festival, 
is seeking entries for: 



. late April - early May 

^PlJ.S. independent and international film and video festival 

(replacing the Long Island Film Festival) 
phone (800) 423-7611 for entry forms and more information 



and also for: 



February 

African-American 

History Month 

Celebration 



March 

Annual Women's 

International 

Film & Video Festival 



November 

First Latino 

Film & Video 

Festival 



for these last three, open call; phone for more info or send (no fiberfill pouches!) 

VHS screening tapes, promotional materials, and self-addressed postpaid mailer 

(if return of materials is requested) to: 



Cinema Arts Centre 

P.O. Box 498 • 423 Park Avenue (for FedEx or other shippei|s, only ) 
Huntington, N.Y 1 1 743-049'8 : , , ■{. '"';. • /' ■ % 
(800) 423-7611: Mon - Fri, 10am - 6pm , , 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 39 




in Iwrtef 




THE REVOLUTION 
WE TELEVISED 



Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited 
by Deirdre Boyle 

Oxford University Press, 1996 ($39.95 cloth; 
$16.95 paper) 

Reviewed by 
Laurie Ouellette 

In the late sixties, members of the first TV 
generation picked up portable video cameras, 
then fresh on the market, and tried to alter the 
course of American television. Fueled by New 
Left rhetoric and the student counterculture, 
collectives like Raindance, Videofreex, Ant 
Farm, Top Value TV, and Broadside TV chal- 
lenged network oligopoly and 
pushed the aesthetic and politi- 
cal boundaries of the medium. 
At the core of the "guerrilla 
television" philosophy was the 
premise that if people had cam- 
eras, they could change the 
world. And yet by the close of 
the seventies, much of that 
optimism and many of those 
groups had disappeared. 

Subject to Clxange is a fasci- 
nating and sometimes amusing 
history of the early video pio- 
neers that offers an astute 
analysis of why their Utopian dreams for televi- 
sion were doomed to fail. Beginning with the 
day Nam June Paik hopped a cab and recorded 
Pope John Paul VI's arrival in New York City 
with a portable video camera, Deirdre Boyle 
traces the influence of the media arts, political 
activism, community organizing, youth culture, 
and communal lifestyles on the various forms 
of guerrilla television. Boyle, who teaches 
media studies at the New School for Social 
Research in New York City and is author of 
Video Classics: A Guide to Video Arts and 
Documentary Tapes (1986), focuses on three 
vastly different video collectives working 
respectively at the national, regional, and local 
levels. She offers a behind-the-scenes account 



of the major players, their differing approaches 
to television, and their successes and failures. 
Lucid, well written, and carefully researched, 
the book contributes an important, if frequent- 
ly overlooked, chapter to the history of 
American television. 

Boyle's talents as a media historian stem 
from her ability to blend rich detail with a 
broader social, economic, and policy context. 
Subject to Change is filled with juicy anecdotes, 
like the time the Videofreex collective made 
merry and trashed a pad CBS was paying for, or 
when Raindance told women they could serve 
the tea and granola bars but would have to give 
up their chairs to the guys 
when the seating ran short. 
With stories like these, 
Boyle avoids mythologizing 
the "founding fathers" of 
alternative video. If any- 
thing, she presents them as 
flawed individuals (mostly 
white, college-educated 
men) who were very much 
caught up in the counter- 
cultural milieu of the day. 
And yet, Subject to Change 
is sympathetic to the politi- 
cal energies and creative 
passions that motivated 
guerrilla television as a whole. 

Several chapters focus on Broadside TV and 
University Community Video, lesser-known 
groups that were trying to develop local and 
community programs for cable and public tele- 
vision. Boyle also weaves in an examination of 
the FCC policies, funding obstacles, and inter- 
nal contradictions that eventually restricted 
their success. But the most compelling story is 
the rise and fall of Top Value Television, or 
TVTV, the most prominent of the video col- 
lectives and the one to achieve the greatest 
notoriety. 

Founded by Michael Shamberg, the young 
radical and Marshall McLuhan fan who had 




penned the influential Guerrilla Television 
manifesto, TVTV seemed to embody the first 
TV generation's dream of remaking televi- 
sion — or at least making it more democratic. 
Part satire and part documentary, TVTV's 
videotapes cast a critical spin on dominant 
American institutions, from the Republican 
party to the Oscars, with a look and style that 
were hipper and more "happening" than any- 
thing ever seen on conventional television. 
Shamberg had originally argued for an alter- 
native media system "because trying to 
reform broadcasting was trying to build a 
healthy dinosaur." And yet, TVTV's success 
led to negotiations with public television and 
then the networks who were interested in 
showing their work (NBC funded a TVTV 
pilot that opened with a home viewer being 
blasted off his sofa by a bullet, Boyle notes). 
The networks were more than happy to "pol- 
ish the rough and vital ethos of 'guerrilla 
video' to a marketable gloss," Boyle writes. 
Within a decade, Shamberg was a major pro- 
ducer in Hollywood, responsible for hits like 
The Big Chill and A Fish Called Wanda. 

Subject to Cliange analyzes the various fac- 
tors leading up to the demise of TVTV and 
other video collectives, including the frag- 
mentation of the Left, the failure of the 
"cable revolution" to materialize in a democ- 
ratic way, burn out and self-doubt, and a lack 
of funding. But in the end, she seems to sug- 
gest that the most damage was done by the 
co-optation, dilution, and absorption of the 
techniques, if not the principles, of guerrilla 
television into the wider values of commer- 
cial media. Still, the video revolution march- 
es on and, gazing out at the new generation 
of alternative videomakers, public access pro- 
ducers, and media activists, Boyle seems 
excited about the possibilities. Certainly, 
everyone who cares about the politics of tele- 
vision will find Subject to Cliange a gripping 
and relevant lesson from the past. 

Laurie Ouellette is a media critic aivi a doctoral can- 
didate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



fjfjf 

DAM AS 

digital. £ 



digital 

video 

editing 

featuring 

Medial 00 and 

AfterEffects 

D full-service post-production 

low rates 

D 24-hour access 

D experienced editors 

D training available 



222 east fifth street suite #3 newyork,ny 10003 (212)780-0617 




34th Street. Sup- >ofk. NY 10001 




"Scriptware is the best!" 

JL. (of the Writers Guild of Americ 



The pro's choice! 

Professional script writers demand two things: 
They need to get their ideas onto the page 
easily and quickly-anything between your 
brainstorm and the paper kills your creativity. 
And they need their scripts in the proper for- 
mat-if it doesn't look right, your script ends up 
in some secretary's trash can instead of in your 
producer's eager hands! 

With Scriptware, your story flies onto the 
page. And the formatting that Hollywood 
expects happens instantly and automatically! 
All you need are your pinkies and the Tab and 
Enter keys to create a perfectly formatted script. 
It's easier than a typewriter! Type character 
names and scene headings with just one key- 
stroke. Scriptware does all the margin changes, 
spacing changes, capitalizing and page breaking 
for you! Make changes on page one and 
Scriptware makes sure the rest of your script is 
still just right. You just write-Scriptware keeps 
your script ready to print, submit and sell! 



Get exactly what you need! 

Scriptware Lite or Scriptware Pro. Both are 
full-featured word processors that get your 
story on the page and your name on the screen. 
Lite comes in two different versions-Film for 
movies and filmed TV shows (e.g. 1-hour dra- 
mas), and Sitcom for taped TV shows. Lite 
includes a 100,000+ word dictionary and it lets 
you import scripts you've already written. Pro 
lets you write in every format there is and lets 
you modify and create new formats, too. It also 
has a 120,000+ word thesaurus, revision han- 
dling, Notes and Outline features, instant Title 
Page creation, and other powerful writer's tools. 




Scripnvare 's lists let yuu type names with just one keystroke! And with 
Scriptware, wliat you see is what you get! Scriptware shows you exactly 
what your scrip! will look like when you print it-page breaks, headers, 
footers, revison marks, A&B pages and morel Pull-down menus and con- 
text-sensitive help make using Scriptware 's powerful features a breeze! 



Journal 

(of the Writers Guild of America, West) 

Rave Reviews! 

Scriptware is the software of choice at studios 
and production companies. Just listen to 
what the pros say about Scriptware: 

Scriptware is in a class by itself. The 
easiest to master. Others hardli compare." 

Tracy Clark 
The New York Screenwriter 

(i Simply the best there is. Just add words." 
Larry Hertzog 

Nowhere Man,SeaQuest 

(i Nothing approaches it in ease of use." 

Peter Coyote 
Writer/Actor 

(i The best tool for scriptwriting, period." 

Hy Bender 

Essential Software for Writers 

The price is right! 

Order today and get Scriptware for a special 
price! Or try our demo for FREE (normally 
$9.95). Experience Scriptware and the freedom 
to create for as little as $129.95 with a 30-day 
money-back guarantee!. To order, or for more 
info, visit us on the web or call today! 
http://scriptware.com 
CALL TOLL-FREE 800-788-7090! 

Scriptware requires: MX)', IBM rxmnnliMr computer (S0286O1 higher) -640KRAM • 

DOS version 2.1 or higher • I HD floppy drive and I bard drive ■ Mouse optional 
01995 Cinovation, Inc. 175030th Si Sic. 160, Boulder, CO 80303 303-78i 191 




LISTINGS DO NOT CONSTITUTE AN ENDORSEMENT. 
SINCE SOME DETAILS MAY CHANGE AFTER THE MAGA- 
ZINE GOES TO PRESS, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU 
CONTACT THE FESTIVAL DIRECTLY BEFORE SENDING 
PREVIEW CASSETTES. DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING A 
CALL FOR ENTRIES IN THE FESTIVAL COLUMN IS THE 
15TH OF THE MONTH TWO AND A HALF MONTHS 
PRIOR TO COVER DATE (E.G., JAN. 15 FOR APRIL 
ISSUE). ALL BLURBS SHOULD INCLUDE: FESTIVAL 
DATES, CATEGORIES, PRIZES, ENTRY FEES, DEAD- 
LINES, FORMATS & CONTACT INFO. TO IMPROVE OUR 
RELIABILITY AND MAKE THIS COLUMN MORE BENEFI- 
CIAL, WE ENCOURAGE ALL MEDIAMAKERS TO CON- 
TACT FIVF WITH CHANGES, CRITICISM, OR PRAISE 
FOR FESTIVALS PROFILED. 



Domestic 

ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, July, NY. Organized by Asian Cine 
Vision, NYC-based nat'l media arts center. 
Noncompetitive fest, created in 1978, country's old- 
est showcase for Asian & Asian American filmmak- 
ers. After its NY premiere, embarks on 10-month 
tour of N. America. Films produced, directed 6k/or 
written by artists of Asian heritage eligible. Features 
& shorts in all cats accepted. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm; preview on cassette or 16mm. Entry fee: $10. 
Deadline: mid-March. Contact: Asian American 
Film Int'l Film Festival, ACV, 32 East Broadway, 4th 
fl., NY, NY 10002; (212) 925-8685; fax: 925-8157; 
ACVinNYC@aol.com 

ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM AND 
VIDEO FESTIVAL, May 2-9, OH Now in 24th yr, 
fest seeks entries that "evidence a high regard for 
artistic innovation, sensitivity to content 6k personal 
involvement w/ the medium." Deadline: Jan 31. 
Each entry pre-screened by committee of filmmak- 
ers, videomakers 6k others assoc. w/ Athens Center 
for Film & Video. Cash prizes awarded to competi- 
tion winners in cats of Narrative (traditional 6k 
experimental); Doc (traditional 6k experimental); 
Experimental & Animation. Entry fee: $25 plus pre- 
paid return shipping/insurance. Formats: 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2"; preview on cassette. Contact: Athens Int'l 
Film 6k Video Festival, Athens Center for Film & 
Video, Box 388, Athens, OH 45701;(614) 593-1330; 
fax: 593-1328; bradley@ouvaxa. cats.ohiou.edu. 

CAROLINA FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, 

April 2-5, NC. Univ. of North Carolina fest, now in 



7th yr, has goal of showcasing best student & ind. 
film 6k video in all genres, incl. animation, doc, 
experimental, narrative 6k hybrid. About 50 works 
screened in competition. Awards of $2,500+ in cash 
6k Kodak film stock. Entry fee: $20 (students), $30 
(independents). Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2"; pre- 
screening on VHS. Deadline: Mar. 10. Contact: 
Killian Heilsberg, Carolina Film 6k Video Festival, 
Broadcasting/Cinema Program, 100 Carmichael 
Bldg, UNCG, Greensboro, NC 27412-5001; (910) 
334-5360; fax: 334-5039; ldwarren(ahamlet.uncg. 
edu; http://www.uncg.edu/cbt/CFVF.html. 

CHARLOTTE FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, 

May, NC. Competitive fest "seeks to foster 6k 
encourage art of ind. film 6k videomakers, especially 
those with unique point of view." Ind. film 6k video- 
makers working in US eligible for fest, which awards 
$7,000 in cash prizes. About 50 works (9% of 
entries) screened; all accepted work is paid cash. 
Features 6k shorts completed since 1/1/94 accepted. 
Cats: doc, narrative, experimental 6k animated. 
Exhibition sites incl. Mint Museum of Art, Afro- 
American Cultural Center, Public Library of 
Charlotte 6k Mecklenburg County, Light Factory 
Photographic Arts Center 6k Manor Theater. Choice 
Cuts, traveling exhibit of work selected from fest, 
goes to selected venues in US; rental fees for each 
add'l screening. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, QuickTime, 
1/2", Beta, CD-ROM. Entry fee: $30. Deadline: Feb. 
15. Contact: Robert West, din, Charlotte Film 6k 
Video Festival, Mint Museum of Art, 2730 Randolph 
Road, Charlotte, NC 28207; (704) 337-2019; fax: 
337-2101; film(5 mint.uncc.edu. 

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL, June, FL. 10-day 
event featuring foreign 6k U.S. ind. films (feature, 
short, doc, narrative, experimental, animation), sem- 
inars 6k Florida student competition. Held at Enzian 
Theater, major nonprofit cinema 6k media arts cen- 
ter, fest has evolved from exhibition-only fest to 
juried competition. In each cat has Jury Award, 
Audience Award & 1 other award at jury's discre- 
tion. Entries for competition must have at least 51% 
US funding. Features must be 60 min. or more. Video 
accepted for animation 6k student competition only. 
Fest also sponsors several curated sidebars, special 
events, seminars 6k receptions. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. Entry fee: $15-30. Deadline: Mar. 1. Contact: 
Matthew Curtis, program dir., Florida Film Festival, 
Enzian Theatre, 1 300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 
32571; (407) 629-1088; fax: 629-6870; filmfest(5 
gate.net; http://www.enzian.org 

HOMETOWN VIDEO FESTIVAL, July CA. 
Sponsored by Alliance for Community Media (for- 
merly Nat'l Federation of Local Cable Programmers), 
a nat'l nonprofit membership org. committed to 
assuring access to electronic media, this competitive 
fest, begun in 1977, recognizes outstanding local pro- 
grams produced for/by local orgs 6k PEG access oper- 
ations. Fest receives over 1,700 entries from US 6k 
Canada. Awards: 4 special awards for overall excel- 
lence in PEG local origination programming; final- 
ists, honorable mentions 6k winners in 36 cats. Some 
cats: performing arts; ethnic expression; entertain- 
ment; sports; by/for youth; live; municipal; religious; 
educational; instructional/training; informational; 
innovative; international; by/for seniors; PSA; doc; 
profile/event/public awareness; video art; music 
video; local news; magazine format; original teleplay. 



Entries must have been produced w/in previous 
year. Awards ceremony held during Int'l 
Conference Trade Show of Alliance for Com- 
munity Media. Deadline: March 1. Formats: 3/4", 
1/2". Entry fee: $21-$56. Contact: The Alliance 
Nat'l Office, Hometown Video Festival, 666 11th 
St. NW, Ste. 806, Washington DC 20001; (202) 
393-2650; fax: 393-2653. 

HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVALAVORLDFEST-HOUS- 
TON, April 4-13, TX. Large fest w/ many compe- 
tition cats, now in 30th yr. New Remi Award is 
Grand Prize, going to top fest winners. Associated 
market for features, shorts, docs, video, ind./exper- 
imental 6k TV ($300 entry fee) . Student Awards 
Program offers $2,500 cash for grand prize 6k $500 
cash 6k $1,000 of Kodak film for best student film 
in each cat of high school, college 6k graduate. 
Scripts 6k screenplays also have competition. Cats: 
theatrical features; TV 6k video production; film 6k 
video production; short subjects film 6k videos; TV 
commercials; experimental films 6k videos, film- 
strips/slide/multimedia programs; student films 6k 
videos; super 8mm film 6k videos; screenplays; 
music videos; new media; print advertising; radio 
advertising. Fest also offers 3-day seminar on writ- 
ing screenplays, producing 6k directing, plus distri- 
bution 6k finance. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2", super 8 (on videotape). Entry fee: $50-$200; 
market fee: $300. Deadline: Feb. 15. Contact: J. 
Hunter Todd, festival dir., Houston Int'l Film 6k 
Video Festival/Worldfest-Houston, Box 56566, 
Houston, TX 77256; (713) 965-9955/(800) 524- 
1438; fax: (713) 965-9960; worldfesttg aol.com 

HUDSON VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL, spring, 
NY. Accepting feature, short, doc 6k screenplay 
entries. Deadline: Feb 1. Contact: Kathleen 
Cherry, Hudson Valley Film 6k Video Office, 40 
Garden St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. (914) 473- 
0318; fax 473-0082. 

MEDICINE WHEEL ANIMATION FESTI- 
VAL. Touring collection of animated shorts by N. 
Amer. filmmakers; dedicated exclusively to inde- 
pendent, noncommercial 6k experimental anima- 
tion rarely seen by public; looks for "historical, dif- 
ficult, challenging, enlightening, beautiful 6k multi- 
cultural films." Fest has presented in such venues 
as Coolidge Corner (MA), George Eastman House 
(NY), Hallwalls (NY), IMAGE (GA), Rhode 
Island School of Design (RI). Filmmakers share 
20% of profit on touring fest with a minimum of 
$150. Entries must be under 25 min.; can be com- 
pleted in any yr. Fest sponsored by Medicine Wheel 
Artists' Retreat. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Entry 
fee: None. Deadline: Feb. 1. Contact: Cheri 
Amarna, project dir., Medicine Wheel Animation 
Festival, Box 1088, Groton, MA 01450-3088; 
(508) 488-3717; medwheel(5 tiac.net 

MONITOR AWARDS, July, CA. Sponsored by 
Int'l Teleproduction Society, competition honors 
excellence in electronic production 6k post- 
production. Cats 6k craft areas incl. TV series; TV 
specials; theatrical releases; music video; nat'l 
commercials; local commercials; promos; chil- 
dren's programming; sports; docs; shorts; show 
reels; corporate communication; opens, closes 6k 
titles; transitions; logos 6k IDs. Awards: best 



42 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



achievement honors to producers, directors, editors, 
etc. in each cat. Entries must have been produced or 
postproduced w/in previous calendar yr & entries 
originating on film must be postproduced electroni- 
cally. Formats: Beta SR 3/4", CD-ROM or URL 
address. Entry fee: $175-$200. Deadline: Jan 31. 
Contact: Int'l Monitor Awards, 2230 Gallows Rd, 
Suite 310, Dunn Loring, VA 22027 (703) 641-8770; 
fax: 641-8776. 

NATIVE AMERICAN FILM AND VIDEO FES- 
TIVAL, October, NY. Showcases best new ind, doc 
& animated works produced by & about Native 
Americans & Native Hawaiians. Formats: 16mm, 
3/4", Beta SFJ 1/2"; preview on cassette. Entry fee: 
none. Deadline: April 1. Contact: Native American 
Film & Video Festival, Film & Video Center, Nat'l 
Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav 
Heye Center, One Bowling Green, NY, NY 10004; 
(212) 825-6894; fax: 825-8 



NEW YORK VIDEO FESTIVAL, July, NY. 
Noncompetitive fest aims to present latest in elec- 
tronic arts, incl. video, High Definition TV & CD- 
ROM. Orginally presented as special event of New 
York Film Festival, fest is now an independent pro- 
ject, part of Lincoln Center summer festival. All 
videos shown single channel, projected in Film 
Society's 268-seat Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln 
Center. No cats/no awards. Average of 44 works pre- 
sented in 14 programs; over 3,600 attend. Coverage 
in NY Times & Village Voice & some out-of-town & 
int'l coverage. Submitted works should be recent 
(w/in past 2 yrs); NY premieres preferred but not 
required. Formats: 3/4", 1/2", Beta, CD-ROM, 
HDTV; preview on 3/4", 1/2", CD-ROM. Entry fee: 
none. Deadline: early March. For application, send 
SASE to: Film Society of Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln 
Center Plaza, NY, NY 10023; or download from 
website: http://www.filmlinc.com; (212) 875-5610; 
fax: 875-5636; filmlinc@dti.net. 

PHILADELPHIA FESTIVAL OF WORLD CIN- 
EMA, Apr. 30-May 11, PA. 6th annual noncompet- 
itive fest offers "enriching view of world culture & a 
diversity of filmmaking culminating in a city-wide 
celebration of cinema." Features US premieres of 
int'l & US independents, classic cinema, tributes, 
seminars, Cine Cafes, extensive local press coverage, 
parties & more. Last yr's fest included 100 features, 
docs & shorts from 37 countries, w/ audiences esti- 
mated at 22,000. Estab last yr, CinePulse is system 
for fest audience to evaluate cinematic experience, 
giving films various ratings. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4", Beta; preview on 1/2" preferred. Entry fee: $20; 
$25 for int'l entries. Deadline: Jan. 22. Contact: 
Denise Sneed, program coord. Philadelphia Festival 
of World Cinema, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, 
PA 19104; (215) 895-6593; fax: 895-6562; 
pfwc@libertynet.org; http://www.libertynet.org/ 
—pfwc 

ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FILM FES- 
TIVAL, Apr. 30-May 3, NY. Sponsored by Movies 
on a Shoestring, group of western New York film 
buffs, fest founded in 1959 & open to films & videos 
of all genres. Out of about 140 entries each year, fest 
programs 24 entries (8 screenings a night). Entries 
should be under 40 min. Awards incl. Certificates of 
Merit, Honorable Mentions & Shoestring Trophy. 
Held at Int'l Museum of Film & Photography in 



AVID 8000/400 

ON- LI NE/OFF-LI N E 

3D Animation/After Effects 

ProTools Sound Editing/ Film Composer 

'I ' < >' ! Beta SP On-Line/AB Roll/ Dubs/Xfers 

Discount Rates For Independents 

SOLAR Productions 580 Broadway) & Houston) 212,925,1110 



screenwriters 
and their crall 




Now accepting film 



submissions and entries for 



I screenplay competition. 



Deadline for all submissions: 



JUNE 17-22, 1997 • NANTUCKET ISLAND, MASSACHUSETTS 



For further information, contact: www.nantucketfilmfestival.org or 212-642-6339 
P.O. Box 688 Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




1-P Ttf AKJSJV/At- 



Entry Forms 

Big Muddy Film Festival 

Dcpt. of Cinema/Photography 



Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 
Carbondalc, IL 62901-6610 



1W7 



618.453.1482 fax 618.453.2264 16mm 1/2" VHS (NTSC) 3/4" UMATIC 




AVID! 



Media Composer 400 & 1000 

On-Line/Off-Line 

Pro-tools 
3/4" and Beta Decks 
Real Time FX & Titles 
54 Gigabytes Storage 

Downtown Location 

or 

Location of Your Choice 

Fast Tech Support 
Affordable Rates 

ONE ART 

Nancy Kennedy/Valerie Kontakos 

(718)622-3653 



&> /te t/t& 




non-linear editing to betacam-sp 

component interformat studio: 

betacam-sp, 3/4", hi-8,s-vhs 

3d animation/graphics/cg 

digital audio recording 

dat recording 

digital effects switcher 

$1500/week with editor 
18 gigabyte hd 

Independent Post Production 
in the East Village 

Call for class brochures 
east third street new york city 

212.254.1106 



William Hohauser Productions 

Directiiig/Editing/Camera 

On- Line Non-Linear - Media 100 

Linear Editing Available too! 

Work done for: 

Cartoon Network: 1 995 Academy Award Nominated Short, 

Pay-per-View events, Warner Bros. Animation, 

Verve Records, PRSA, Coopers & Lybrand, 

Madison Square Garden Network, 

Tommy James and many others 

611 Broadway 
New York, N.Y. 10012 

(212)673-0899 




ESPY-TV, Inc. 
Multi-Camera Shoots 
VHS Duplication 




Rochester. Selected films bought for nonprofit "Best 
of Festival" program, which travels New York State. 
Formats: 16mm, super 8, 1/2", 3/4". Entry fee: $20. 
Deadline: March 1. Contact: Ellie Cherin, MOAS 
President, Rochester Int'l Film Festival, Movies on a 
Shoestring, Inc., Box 17746, Rochester, NY 14617; 
(716) 271-2116 (evenings); moas(S wow.com 

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LES- 
BIAN AND GAY FILM AND VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, June, CA. Founded in 1976, this is one of 

world's largest 6k oldest events of its kind. Many 
works premiered in fest go on to be programmed or 
distributed nat'ly & int'ly. 3 diverse pre-screening 
committees review submissions from Nov.-March, 
accepting works at 1:3 ratio. Rough-cuts accepted 
for preview if submitted on 3/4" or 1/2". Fest espe- 
cially encourages appl. from women & people of 
color. Entries must be San Francisco Bay Area pre- 
mieres. Awards: Frameline Award, Audience 
Award. Fest produced by Frameline, nonprofit arts 
organization dedicated to lesbian 6k gay media arts. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", multimedia, 
installations. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: late Feb. 
Contact: Michael Lumpkin, fest. dir., San Francisco 
Int'l Lesbian 6k Gay Film 6k Video Festival, 
Frameline, 346 Ninth St., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 703-8650; fax: 861-1404. 

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL, May 15-June 8, WA. Founded in 1974, fest 
one ot largest non-competitive festivals in US, pre- 
senting more than 160 features 6k 75 short films to 
audience of over 120,000. Known for its eclectic 
programming encompassing all genres 6k styles, from 
latest in contemporary world cinema to premieres of 
American ind. 6k major studio releases. Special pro- 
grams include New Directors Film 
Showcase/Award, Independent Filmmakers Forum, 
American Independent Filmmakers Award, Golden 
Space Needle Awards given in cats of feature film, 
director, actress, actor, doc 6k short story. Inclusion 
qualifies participants for entry in Independent 
Feature Project's Independent Spirit Awards. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on 1/2". Deadline: 
Mar. 1. Contact: Darryl Macdonald, Seattle Int'l 
Film Festival, 801 E. Pine St., Seattle, WA 98122; 
(206) 324-9996; fax: 324-9998; entry@seattle- 
film.com; http://www.seattlefilm.com 

SILVER IMAGES FILM FESTIVAL, May 9-22. 
IL. Now in 4th edition, test programs selection of 
best int'l 6k US films 6k videos — narrative, doc, 
experimental — that "honor and celebrate the lives 
of older adults." Filmmakers of all ages encouraged 
to enter work; fest especially encourages filmmakers 
65 + to enter (these films need not concern aging or 
older adults). Fest held in several venues throughout 
Chicago 6k publicized in local 6k nat'l media. Events 
incl. opening night gala, screenings for older adult 
groups, screenings for gerontology professions 6k 
public screenings. 3 awards given during fest; no 
cash prizes. Deadline: Jan. 15 (extensions given). 
Contact: Becky Cowing, Silver Images Film Festival, 
Terra Nova Films, 9848 S. Winchester Ave., 
Chicago, IL 60643; (773) 881-6940; tax: 881-3368. 

SLICE OF LIFE FILM 6k VIDEO SHOWCASE 
mid-July, PA. Held at Penn State Univ., doc films 6k 
videos, incl. those using experimental techniques. 
Narrative works 6k works longer than 30 min. not 



44 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



accepted; shorter entries encouraged. Winning pro- 
ducers receive cash prize & certificate. Entry fee: 
$25. Formats: 16mm, 3/4"; preview on 16mm & 
1/2". Deadline: April 1. Contact: Sedgwick Heskett, 
dir., Documentary Resource Center, 106 Boalsburg 
Rd., Box 909, Lemont, PA 16851; (814) 234-1945; 
fax: 2340939. 

USA FILM FESTIVAL, April, TX. Fest has 3 
major components: noncompetitive feature section 
(now in 27th yr); Nat'l Short Film & Video 
Competition (in 19th yr); KidFilm (held in mid- 
Jan) . Feature section incl. premieres of major new 
films, new works from ind. 6k emerging filmmakers, 
special tributes, incl. Great Director award & retro, 
panel discussions. To enter, send preview cassette w/ 
publicity & production info. Short film & video 
competition showcases new 6k significant US work. 
Entries should be under 60 min., completed after 
Jan. 1, 1996. Cash prizes awarded in cats of narra- 
tive ($1,000); nonfiction ($1,000); animation 
($1,000); experimental ($1,000); Texas Award 
($500); Student Award ($500); advertising promo 
award; Family Award ($500); 4 special jury awards 
($250). Grand Prize Winner flown to Dallas. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Entry fee: $40. 
Deadline: early March. Contact: Alonso Duralde, 
USA Film Festival, 2917 Swiss Ave., Dallas, TX 
75204; (214) 821-6300; fax: 821-6364. 

WASHINGTON DC INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL, Late April/early May, DC. Tenth anniv. 
of noncompetitive fest which brings "best in new 
world cinema" to nation's capitol. Known as 
Filmfest DC, fest presents over 60 feature premieres, 
restored classics 6k special events. All are 
Washington, DC premieres. Programs fiction, doc, 
animation, family 6k children's programs, education- 
al panels 6k workshops. Fest "attempts to represent 
the broad geographical diversity of world cinema — 
the newest films of emerging countries and the lat- 
est work from newly recognized young directors." 
Attendance last edition totaled 22,000; fest is 
District-wide event which brings together city's 
major cultural institutions, incl. Smithsonian, 
Library of Congress, American Film Institute, Black 
Film Institute, University of the District of 
Columbia, DC Public Library, National Archives 6k 
commercial movie theaters. Special programs 
include Filmfest DC for Kids in libraries, hospitals 6k 
community centers; Global Rhythms, series of music 
films; 6k Cinema for Seniors. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4". Entry fee: $30 features, $15 shorts. 
Deadline: early Feb. Contact: Tony Gittens, fest dir., 
Washington DC Int'l Film Festival, Box 21396, 
Washington, DC 20009; (202) 274-6810; fax: 
274-6828; filmfestdc@. aol.com 

WINDY CITY INTERNATIONAL DOCU- 
MENTARY, May 2-11, IL. Sponsored by Columbia 
College Chicago 6k Int'l Documentary Assoc, 3rd 
annual fest plans to bring representation of world's 
finest doc to Chicago. Screenings of Fest Jury's 
selections, plus showcase of invited docs. Ind. 6k 
student entries encouraged. Awards in profession- 
al/ind. 6k student cats. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", Hi8, 
1/2"; preview on 1/2" (non-returnable). Entry fee: 
$25 professional/ind., $20 IDA cardholders; $15 
students, $10 IDA cardholders. Deadline: Jan. 15. 
Contact: Windy City Int'l Doc Festival, 
Documentary Center, Columbia College, 600 S. 



Sunny 
Bright 
Clean 
Spacious 

Professional 



J\. Media Composer 1000 

V off-iine & on-line 

I 

D Suite 



Style TV Productions, Inc. 
52 East 78th St., 9D 
NX, N.Y. 10021 
212-717-4495 ask for Doug 



NEW YORK 

INTERNATIONAL 

INDEPENDENT 

FILM & VIDEO 

FESTIVAL 



Producers, Managers, Agents, 

Distributors, and Financiers are invited, 

plus Press, Critics, 

and of course, NYC audiences. 



CALL 212.777.7100 

M - F 2pm - 6pm 

Eastern Standard Time 

for applications 



Features, Shorts, Animation, 

Documentaries, 35, 16, Video, 

Multi - Media 




May 1-11, 1997 

Last year $7,000 in Artists Fees & Awards 

Entry Deadline: March 1, 1997 

Jurors: Nancy Gerstman and Neema Barnette 

Contact: Robert West, Mint Museum of Art 

2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte NC 28207, (704) 337-2019, 

FAX (704) 337-2101 Email: film@mint.uncc.edu 

Photo: Swallow, Elisabeth Subrin 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 45 




• r «oi5E"£ 



For more information, a resource guide and 
a copy of the video Best of Festival '96, contact: 

WPFVF • 46 Fox Hill Road, Bernardston, MA 

01337 • TL: 800 638-9464 • FX: 413 648-9204 

eM: info@wpfvf.com • www.wpfvf.com 

Sponsored by Sopris Foundation, Searchlight 

Films & Population Communications International 




WHEN 

LIGHTNING 

STRIKES 



'»:■*■»■: 



D.R. REIFF 
& ASSOCIATES 



ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

BROKERS 

320 WEST 57 ST 

NEW YORK, NY 10019 

(212)603-0231 FAX (212) 247-0739 



What's New at A.R.I.Q? 




ews 



A.R.I.Q 




Pathe News Inc! 



When you need fresh, out-of-the-ordinary archival images for your productions, 
call A.R.I.Q. and choose from a virtually limitless library of stock footage! 



The most extensive, collection of 
black & white and color 
stock footage 

Over 20,000 transferred fi logged 
hours of every imaginable 
type of footage 



Over 10,000 filmed musical 
performances: rock 6 roll, jazz, 
blues, country, R & B and more 
Immediate turnaround 
Free research 
In-house duplicating facility 



Call for our free demo reel. 
I-80O-249-194O 



e-mail 
ARIQF© aol.com 



Or fax your request to 
I-516-329-9260 



Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605; (312) 663-1600 
x5306; fax: 986-8208. 



Foreign 

BANFF TELEVISION FESTIVAL, June, Canada. 
Founded in 1979, fest has 3 components: int'l com- 
petition, which awards coveted TV prize, the Banff 
Rockies; conference for TV professionals w/ impor- 
tant resource people; & informal environment in 
which to develop business relationships. Cats: TV 
features, limited series, continuing series, short dra- 
mas, TV comedies, social/political docs, science pro- 
grams, arts docs, performance specials <St children's 
programs. Competition entries must be made for TV 
(films in theatrical release ineligible). Entries origi- 
nally in English or French must have TV premiere 
after 3/96. Producers of best programs in each of 12 
cats receive "Rockies" sculptures. Grand Prize, incl 
$5,000 Cdn., awarded Best of Fest. Jury may also 
make 2 Special Awards, incl $2,500 Cdn. for out- 
standing achievements. "On demand" screening 
facilities for all TV programs invited or submitted to 
fest. Formats: 3/4". Entry fee: $200. Deadline: early 
Feb. Contact: Jerry Ezekiel, president/test din, Banff 
Television Festival, Banff Centre, 204 Caribou St., 
#306, Box 1020, Banff, Alberta, Canada TOL 0C0; 
(403) 762-3060; fax: 762-5357. 

CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 
May, France. Largest int'l film fest, attended by over 
35,000 stars, directors, distributors, buyers & jour- 
nalists. Round-the-clock screenings, parties, cere- 
monies, press conferences &. one of world's largest 
film markets. Independent Feature Project serves as 
the official US rep. for the Directors Fortnight &. 
facilitates preview screenings in the US. Cannes 
selection committee, appointed by Administration 
Board, chooses entries for Official Competition 
(about 20 films) and Un Certain Regard section. 
Films must have been made w/in prior 12 mo., 
released only in country of origin 6k not entered in 
other tests. Official component consists of 3 sections: 
1) In Competition, for features & shorts competing 
for major awards; 2) special Out of Competition 
accepts features ineligible for competition (e.g. by 
previous winners of Palme d'Or); 3) Un Certain 
Regard, noncompetitive section for films of int'l 
quality that do not qualify for Competition, films by 
new directors, etc. Parallel sections incl. Quinzaine 
des Realisateurs (Directors Fortnight), main sidebar 
for new talent, sponsored by Assoc, of French Film 
Directors (deadline mid April); La Semaine de la 
Critique (Int'l Critics Week), 1st or 2nd features and 
docs chosen by French Film Critics Union (selec- 
tions must be completed w/in 12 mos prior to fest); 
& Perspectives on French Cinema. Film market, 
administered separately, screens film in main venue 
and local theater. Top prizes incl. Official Com- 
petition's Palme d'Or (feature & short) and Camera 
d'Or (best first film in any section). For info &. press 
accreditation from U.S., contact: Catherine Verret, 
French Film Office, 745 Fifth Ave., NY, NY 10151; 
(212) 832-8860; fax: 755-0629. IFP contact: Milton 
Tabbot, 104 W. 29th St., 12th fl., NY, NY 10001; 
(212) 465-8200, ext. 207. Add'l info: Quinzaine des 
Realisateurs, Societe des Realisateurs de Films, 215 
rue du Faubourg St. Honore, 75008 Paris, France; 
tel: 01 1 33 1 45 61 01 66, fax: 01 1 33 1 40 74 07 96. 
Semaine International de la Critique, 73, rue de 



46 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



Lourmel, 75015 Paris, France; tel: Oil 33 1 45 75 68 
27. Cannes Film Market, attn: Marcel Lathiere, 99 
boul. Maalesherbes, 75008 Paris, France; tel: Oil 33 
1 45 61 66 09; fax: Oil 33 1 45 61 97 59. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm. Entry fee: None. Deadline: early 
March. Contact: Cannes Int'l Film Festival, 99, 
Boulevard Maalesherbes, 75008 Paris, France; tel: 
011 33 1 45 61 66 00; fax: Oil 33 1 45 61 97 60. 

CARTAGENA INTERNATIONAL FILM FES- 
TIVAL, Mar. 7-15, Colombia. Fest now in 37th yr. 
First Latin American Short Film 6* Video 
Competition. Award to best short fiction. Narration 
should be in Spanish or subtitiled. Formats: 3/4", 
1/2". Entry fee: $30. Deadline: Jan. 30. Contact: 
Pedro Zurita, Videoteca del Sur, Box 20568, NY, NY 
10009; (212) 674-5405; fax: 614-0464; Videl 
Sur96@ aol.com 

GOLDEN ROSE OF MONTREUX TELEVI- 
SION FESTIVAL, Apr. 24-29, Switzerland. 
Organized by Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and 
City of Montreux under auspices of European 
Broadcasting Union, this is Europe's largest fest for 
light entertainment TV now in its 37th yr 6k attend- 
ed by 1,000 professionals from 30 countries. Entries 
compete in cats of comedy, music & general light 
entertainment, w/ each cat having own int'l jury. 
Broadcasters & ind producers eligible to compete. 2 
awards in each cat: Silver Rose, Bronze Rose. In 
comedy cat, 1st prize is Special Prize of City of 
Montreux. 3 1st prizes submitted to Grand Jury for 
Golden Rose of Montreux award for best entertain- 
ment program of all cats, w/ cash award of SFr. 
10,000. Fest also awards Prix UNDA to program 
which best reflects human values, Press Prize 6k 3 
add'l prizes at jury's discretion. Entries must have 
been completed after Jan 1 '96, w/ running time of 
20-60 min. Complimentary Videokiosk screening 
facility. Heavy int'l press coverage. Entry fees payable 
only if program selected by pre-selection jury. 
Formats: Beta, Beta SP; 1/2" for VideoKiosk. Entry 
fee: SFr. 300. Deadline: mid-Feb. Fest address: Pierre 
Grandjean, secretary gen., Rose d'Or de Montreux, 
TV Suisse Romande, 20 Quai Ernest Ansermet, 
CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland; tel: 011 41 22 708 i 
98; fax: 011 41 22 781 52 49. US contact: John 
Nathan, Golden Rose of Montreux, (516) 726-7500; 
fax 726-7510. 

HAMBURG INTERNATIONAL SHORT/NO 
BUDGET FILM FESTIVAL, June 18-22, Germany. 
Int'l short film competition awards Hamburg Short 
Film Award (Major Award), donated by Hamburg 
pay TV channel Premiere; Francois Ode Award 
(Jury's Special Award), Award for Best Animation, 
Premiere Prize (purchase of TV rights by Premiere 6k 
Canal +, France 6k Spain) 6k Viewers' Award. Fest 
also incl No Budget Competition for films produced 
w/o public subsidies or private sponsorship; foremost 
feature should be "realization of an idea"; technical 
quality of secondary importance; all competition 
entries should be under 20 min. No Budget Award 
(Jury Award) 6k Viewers' Award. Another fest fea- 
ture is Three Minute Quickie competition, under 
different theme each yr; this yr's theme is 
"Revolution." Entries should be 3 min. max. 1995 
fest inaugurated Int'l Hamburg Short Film Market, 
opp. to see all films and videos submitted 6k films in 
ShortFilmAgency's video archive. 1995 also debuted 
"Digital Video" section for digitally produced videos 



Full Production, Post-Production, and Creative Services 



Producrion: 
Hi8, Beta.SV package 
Professional Crews 
Scripting 
Studios 




Post 

Toaster 4000 editing 
Hi8, 3/4"SP, BetaSP 
C-G, TBCs, the workJ. 
3D animation! 



120()Broadvvay, Ste. 2B, NY, NY 10001 

2 1 2-889- 1 60 l-fax-2 12-889- 1602 



-Project Rates Available-Call For Estimates- 




Finding Stock Footage 



that breathes life into 
a concept and pushes 
the idea to a new level 




nmmEnmr 

1.800.IMAGERY/o,VH,r\ios,\ :l i, 



Resour 



^Ah 'T^ktwiw 



• Digital Beta On-Line wl DVE 

• Component DV Transfers 
(We have the deck) 

• Tape to Disk (Syquest/Zip) 

• AVID & HI-8 Bump Ups 



Arc Pictures 666 Broadway New York NY 10012 
Phone: 212 982-1101 Fax: 212-982-1168 




January/February 1-997 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



Hello World 




Cellular phones 


Communications 


«r~ 


Walkie talkies 


50 West 17th Street 3rd fl 
Nov York City 10011 


\\ ■ fj 


Video equipment 


212-243-aaOO 

fax 691-6961 
! ^36-243-4567 


Audio equipment 
Digital • Hi8 video 




STREET VIDEO, INC (212)594-7530 

WE ON-LINE FROM ANY NON-LINEAR OFF-LINE EDIT 

(AVID, MEDIA 100, D-VISION) 

FASTER, CHEAPER AND BETTER THAN THEY CAN. 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Betacam SP on-line w/ DFS500 digital FX audio mix $95.00 

Beta-Beta (2 machine) $75.00 Hi8-Beta $75.00 

3/4 - 3/4 $60.00 HI8-3/4 $60.00 

3/4-3/4 self edit $40.00 VHS-VHS self edit $10.00 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $25.00 

Love and understanding are on the house 



TIMECODE SERVICES 

ALLTIMECODE BURN-IN'S ARE ONLY $35/HR. 
WE TIMECODE YOUR HI8 TAPES 

Dupes to Betacam SP $45/hr Dupes to 3/4 $25/hr 

Dupes to VHS $10/hr (includes tape) 

HI8-Betacam SP w/VHS time code window $50/hr 

We are very precise and very nice 

PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Betacam SP package $650.00 

Pro HI8 E.N.G. package $250.00 



NOT JUST TECHNOLOGY, IDEAS! 



We Re|» Great 



Talents 



Introducing Our Mewlg Joined DP 
Over 25 Features in His Belly. 
ALL Genres & Budgets! 

DEREK WAN 

H.K.S.C. 

Could be ah Ihvqluqble 
Asset to Your Project! 



D i t e c t o t 
Dit. of Photogmphy 
C a e w 
Action Choteogtfyh&r 

A c t o t 



All In One Promotions 

For Reel, Call (212)334 4778 

Pot Representation, 

Pax Resume to (21 2)334 4776 



w/ max length of 20 min. (Mac, IBM or Amiga com- 
patible) . Other programs: First Steps, a presentation 
of short films by well known directors; Shorts for 
Kiddies; Pre-Film Test (audiences can choose which 
int'l short films should be shown as pre-films in 
German cinemas); & New Films in Distribution. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, 3/4," 1/2," Beta SP; 
preview on video. Entry fee; None. Deadline: March 
1. Contact: Hamburger Kurzfilmfestival, Kurz- 
FilmAgentur Hamburg e.V, No Budget-Buro, 
Filmhaus, Friedensallee 7, D-22765 Hamburg, 
Germany; 01 1 49 40 398 26 122; fax: 01 1 49 40 398 
26 123. 

LAON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, Late March/early April. 
Fest for "high grade youth cinema promotion." 
Accepts features made for children 6k young people 
for competition, which shows about 10 films; entries 
should not have been released in France. No shorts. 
Awards: Grand Prize; CIFEJ Prize; Cash Prizes: City 
of Laon Prize (30,000 ft); Int'l Young People's Jury 
Prize (20,000 ff); Post Office's Jury Prize (20,000). 
All prizes offered to the French disributor. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm. Entry fee: None. Deadline: mid-Feb. 
Contact: MarieTherese Chambon, fest din, Festival 
Int'l du Cinema Jeune Public de Laon, Maison des 
Arts et Loisirs, Place Aubry, B.P 526, 02001 Laon 
Cedex, France; eel: 011 33 23 20 38 61; tax: 011 33 
23 20 28 99. 

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FES- 
TIVAL, July, Australia. FlAPF-recognized fest cele- 
brates 46th anniv. as one of Australia's 2 largest, and 
its oldest, fests. Eclectic mix of ind. work, w/ special 
interest in feature docs 6k shorts. Substantial pro- 
gram of new Australian cinema. Int'l short film com- 
petition important part of fest, w/ cash prizes in 7 
cats: Grand Prix Cirv of Melboune Award for Best 
Film ($5,000) & $2,000 each in best Australian, 
experimental, animated, doc & fiction film cats. 
Additional special awards inch Kino Cinemas Award 
for creative excellence in Australian short film 
($2,500); ANZAAS/ Scienceworks award for out- 
standing film or video dealing w/ science-related 
subject ($1,500); Melbourne International Film 
Festival Awards for outstanding achievement in 
video production & best student production. Open 
to films of all kinds, except training 6k advertising 
films. Films 60 min. or less eligible tor Int'l Short 
Film Competition; films over 60 min. can be entered 
in noncompetitive feature program. Video & super 8 
productions considered for "out-of-competition" 
screenings. Entries must have been completed w in 
previous yr 6k not screened in Melbourne or broad- 
cast on Australian TV. Fest useful window to 
Australian theatrical & nontheatrical outlets, educ. 
distributors & Australian TV. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2", super 8. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: 
mid-April. Contact: Sandra Sdraulig, exec, din, Mel- 
bourne Int'l Film Festival, 207 Johnston St., Box 
2206, Fitzroy 3065 Australia; tel: 01 1 61 3 417 2011; 
fax: 011 61 3 417 3804; mifftg netspace.net.au; 
http://www.cinemedia.net/ MIFF. 

MIP/TV INTERNATIONAL TELEVISION 
PROGRAM MARKET, April 11-16, France. 1 oi 
largest 6k most important markets for buying 6k sell- 
ing of program rights 6k setting up coproduction 

agreements 6k joint ventures. Held at Cannes' Palais 
des Festivals. Several thousand TV buyers (public 6k 



48 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1997 



commercial), distribs, programmers &. producers 
from 100 countries attend (over 800 registered 
exhibitors, over 2,000 companies registered, and 
over 10,000 attendees). Publishes 7 magazines & 
guide which incl. lists of leading buyers. Market 
receives major attention in int'l trade press. 
Participation w/o stand possible; that service incl. 
admission for 3 employees, use of participant's club 
& listing in MIP-TV guide. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4". Entry fee: varies. Deadline: early March. 
Contact: Jacques Gibout, int'l sales director, MlPfYV 
Int'l TV Program Market, Marche International des 
Programmes de Television, Reed Midem Organ- 
isation, 11-13 rue du Colonel Avia, 75015 Paris, 
France; tel: 011 33 1 41 90 44 00; fax: 011 33 1 41 
90 44 90. US contact: Reed Midem Org., 475 Park 
Ave. So., 2nd fl., NY, NY 10016; (212) 689-4220; 
fax: 689-4348. 

MONS INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FES- 
TIVAL, Mar. 20-23, Belgium. Founded in 1976, 
competitive fest showcases 75 35mm & 16mm shorts 
over 3 days before 6 int'l jury & audiences of over 
1,000. Entries must have been completed w/in previ- 
ous 2 years. Awards incl. Gold Monkeys, Special 
Prizes & cash. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on 
cassette. Entry fee: None. Deadline: early Feb.. 
Contact: Alain Cardon, pres., Mons Int'l Short Film 
Festival, Festival Int'l du Film Court de Mons, 106, 
rue des Arbalestriers, 7000 Mons, Belgium; tel: 011 
32 65 31 81 75; fax: 011 32 65 31 30 27. 

OBERHAUSEN INTERNATIONAL SHORT 
FILM FESTIVAL, April. Germany. Founded in 
1954, this important fest showcases innovative ind. 
& experimental short & doc films of all genres. Place 
of debates 6k controversial films, FIAPF-recognized 
competitive event programs social doc, new develop- 
ments in animation, experimental & short features, 
student films (especially from film schools) 6k first 
films. Different sections 6k int'l competition screen 
films 6k videos up to 35 min., completed after 1/1/95. 
Awards: Grand Prize of Town of Oberhausen 
(DM10,000); 2 Principal Prizes (DM5,000 each); 
Special Prizes (DM 1,000-5, 000), incl. Eulenspiegel- 
Preis (Owlglass Prize) for Most Humorous 
(DM1,000); Alexander Scotti prize to best film on 
"Old Age and Death" (DM2,000); Best Film on 
Educ. Politics (DM5,000); Fipresci Prize (DM2,000); 
Prize of Catholic Film Assoc. (DM2.000); Prize of 
Protestant Film Centre (DM2,000). Fest also has 
concurrent market. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2", Super 8, Beta, Pal, 8mm. Entry fee: None. 
Deadline: early-Feb. Contact: Angela Haardt, 
Oberhausen Int'l Short Film Festival, Internationale 
Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Grillostrasse 34, D-46042 
Oberhausen, Germany; tel: 011 49 208 825 2652; 
fax: 011 49 208 8255413; kurzfilmtage.ober- 
hausen(5'uni. duisburg.de. 

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL, June, Australia. This 
major FIAPF-recognized event is one of world's old- 
est (over 43 years old) 6k leading int'l showcase for 
new work. Noncompetitive int'l program incl. fea- 
tures 6k docs; experimental works; retro; competi- 
tion for Australian shorts; late shows 6k forums w/ 
visiting directors. Many films shared w/ Melbourne 
Fest, which runs almost concurrently. Most 
Australian distributors 6k TV buyers attend. Fest has 
enthusiastic 6k loyal audience 6k is excellent oppor- 
tunity for publicity 6k access to Australian markets. 



Barbara Parks Peter Levin 



SPLASH STUDIOS 



Digital Audio Post-production 
for Film & Video 

168 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 
Tel: 212 271-8747 Fax: 212 271-8748 



• EDIT IN NEW ORLEANS • 

POST IN THE BEST 
OF THREE WORLDS! 

LIVE 

in a great New Orleans apartment near 
the streetcar line and enjoy the French 
Quarter, the Mississippi River, the best 
(and cheapest!) food on the planet, and 
countless other inspirational stimuli 

OFFLINE 

your project on the AVID 400 or the 

Media 100, on your own (we can train 

you!) or with an experienced, caring, and 

careful editor (we're independents too!) 

ONLINE 

your project on the Media 100 and walk 
away with a finished tape 

daily, weekly, and monthly rates 

(504) 895-1945 
arielworc@aol.com 

Ariel Montage, Inc. 
NEW ORLEANS 



THE MEDIR LOFT 



111 flue of Americas, 23 St 

(212) 924-4893 



VHS-VHS$10/hr 



3/4-3/4 $20/hr 



INTERFORMAT EDITS VHS-3/4 $15/hr 



BROADCAST TITLER A&B ROLLING 



SPECIAL EFFECTS Hi-8 



AUDIO RECORDING AUDIO MIXING 



ALL FORMAT CONVERSIONS 



STILLS PHOTOS ~ DUBS 



AMIGA GRAPHICS ANIMATION 



FLAT ART & PHOTO TO VIDEO 



SUPER-8FILM 



FILM TO VIDEO TRANSFERS 



SLIDES TO VIDEO 



STUDIO & LOCATION PRODUCTION 



CREATIVE PROJECT GRANTS 



AIVF MEMBER DISCOUNTS 



DO YOUR WORK HERE 

OR LET US DO IT 

OR WE CAN TEACH YOU 

TO DO IT YOURSELF! 



I 



1 




1 



FIREHOUSE STUDIOS, INC. 

All Your Audio Needs For Video & Film Post! 

Digital lock to Betacam SP and 3/4" 
Protools ffl, ADAT, Timecode DAT + MIDI 



ADR & voiceover to picture 

Live recording & MIDI to picture 

Sound design, editing, SFX & mixing 

Original music & scoring, Library music selection. 

150 W28th St. Suite 302 212-645-0666 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




Production STILLS Limited^ 

A * " ^^ printed from your 

original camera negative 

A Division of 

Northeast Negative Matchers, Inc. 

Producers! Need a frame of your film in a STILL format? 
Promote your film! STILLS for ads, postcards or posters! 

25 Riverview Terrace • Springfield, MA 01108-1603 
413.736.2177 • 305.940.8878 • 800.370.CUTS 




278 Babcock St. Boston, MA 02215 
617-254-7882 Phon* - 617-254-7149 Fax 



i 



ft 



4f<Sli 




films 




212.982.2690 
212.982.2685 



T YOUR HANDS 
N A SMOKIN' 

AVID 



• EXPERIENCED EDITORS. 

•15% DISCOUNT FOR 
INDIE FILMMAKERS!! 

3 7 FIRST AVEMUf 
SUITE l1S:i!§ 
NEW YORK, NY 10003 



I, Bf MEDIA 

JLhli Tm! 



Armadillo 
Studios 



Macintosh based 
non-linear editor 
Prices start 
at $5O0/wk. 



Beta SP deck, 18 gig hardrive, DAT storage backup, 
Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects 



292 5th Ave. S0NY B£TACAM SP a/b Roll & straight cuts 

OlOJVU.^ilSSA W/Video Toaster & Ami I ink Edit Controller 
212'71i"35SU Prices start at MOAr 



Held at 1929 picture palace acknowledged as one of 
finest venues in world; other city venues also used. 
Fest conducts audience survey, w/ results provided to 
participating filmmakers; results have good deal of 
influence w/ Australian distribs. Entries must have 
been completed w/in previous 18 mos & be 
Australian premieres. Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 
16mm, 1/2". Entry fee: $15 (for tape return). 
Deadline: Mar. 7. Contact: Paul Byrnes, fest. dir., 
Sydney Film Festival, Box 950, Glebe, NSW, 
Australia; tel: Oil 61 2 9 660 3844; fax: Oil 61 2 9 
692 8793; sydfilm(gozonline.comau; http://www.syd 
film-test. comau. 

TRENTO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
MOUNTAIN AND EXPLORATION FILMS, 

Late April/early May, Italy. 1997 marks 45 th edition 
of competitive fest devoted to mountain films; 
exploration films; 6k mountaineering, adventure & 
sports films. Long, medium & short films 6k telefilms 
(fiction 6k doc) eligible for competition. Awards: 
Gran Premio "Citta di Trento" (Gold Gentian 6k 
10,000,000 lire); Silver Gentians 6k 3,000,000 lire 
each to best fiction feature, best film on moun- 
taineering, best film on exploration 6k/or environ- 
mental conservation, best film on adventure, includ- 
ing RAI Award for best electronically created film. 
Special Jury Prize for Italian director 6k Special Prize 
for best photography. Films may also be shown out of 
competition. Deadline: early March. Contact: Gian 
Luigi Bozza, fest dir., Filmfestival Internazionale 
della Montagna e dell'Esplorazione, Via S. Croce 67, 
38100 Trento. Italy; tel: 011 39 461 98 61 20; fax: 
01159 461 23 18 32. 

TURIN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
LESBIAN AND GAY FILMS, April 7-13, Italy. 

Now in 12th yr, one of longest-running int'l gay 6k 
lesbian events. Entries should be by lesbian/gay film- 
makers or address lesbian/gay themes 6k issues. 
About 1 50 titles. Competition section divided btwn 
3 juries: doc, long feature 6k short feature. Panorama 
section features new int'l productions. Award named 
after late fest co-founder, Ottravio Mai, presented to 
best screenplay tor short. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2" (PAL 6k NTSC). Entry fee: None. 
Deadline: early Feb. Contact: Angelo Acerbi, fest 
coord., Turin Int'l Festival of Lesbian and Gay Films, 
Da Sodoma a Hollywood, Via T. Tasso 11, 10122 
Torino, Italy; tel: 01 1 39 1 1 534 888; fax: 01 1 39 1 1 
535 796; glfilmfestC" assioma.com; http://www. 
assioma.com/glfilmfest. 

VUES D'AFRIQUE, April 17-27, Canada. Along 
with FESPACO, fest, founded in 1983, is imp. show- 
case for films from Africa 6k diaspora. Over 55,000 
people attend. Cats incl. Panorama du cinema 
africain, Images Creoles, Televisions Africaines, 
Regard Canadien, Ecrans Nord-Sud, Clips, Women's 
Images, Human Rights, and new section 
Franco-Sud. Expositions, info kiosks, music, dance, 
literatute 6k food part of Salon Africain et Creole 
(African 6k Caribbean Fair) held at same time. 
Fiction 6k doc, long 6k short programmed. Fest also 
travels to other cities in Canada. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. Entry fee: None. Deadline: late Feb. 
Contact: Henri-Paul Bolap, Vues d'Afrique, Les 
Journees du Cinema Africain et Creole, 67 rue Ste. 
Catherine Ouest, 5eme etage, Montreal, Quebec, 
Canada H2X 1Z7; (514) 284-3322; fax: 845-0631. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



CLASSIFIED ADS OF UP TO 240 CHARACTERS 
(INCLUDING SPACES & PUNCTUATION) COST 
$25/ISSUE FOR AIVF MEMBERS, $35 FOR NONMEM- 
BERS; CLASSIFIED ADS OF 240-480 CHARACTERS 
COST $45/ISSUE FOR AIVF MEMBERS, $65 FOR 
NONMEMBERS. ADS EXCEEDING LENGTH WILL BE 
EDITED. PLEASE INCLUDE VALID MEMBER ID# 
WHEN SUBMITTING ADS. ALL ADVERTISING COPY 
SHOULD BE TYPED AND ACCOMPANIED BY A CHECK 
OR MONEY ORDER PAYABLE TO: FIVF, 304 HUDSON 
ST., NY, NY 10013. TO PAY BY CREDIT CARD, YOU 
MUST INCLUDE: CREDIT CARD TYPE (VISA/MC); 
CARD NUMBER; NAME ON CARD; EXPIRATION DATE; 
BILLING ADDRESS & CARDHOLDER'S DAYTIME 
PHONE. ADS RECEIVED WITHOUT ALL INFORMATION 
WILL BE DISCARDED. ADVERTISERS WISHING TO 
RUN A CLASSIFIED MORE THAN ONCE MUST PAY FOR 
EACH INSERTION AND INDICATE THE NUMBER OF 
INSERTIONS ON THE SUBMITTED COPY. ADS RUN- 
NING FIVE OR MORE TIMES RECEIVE A $5 DISCOUNT 
PER ISSUE. DEADLINES ARE THE 1ST OF EACH 
MONTH, TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO THE COVER DATE 
(E.G. FEB. IFOR THE APRIL ISSUE). 



Buy • Rent • Sell 

16MM ANIMATION PACKAGE Arri S/B, Zeiss 
16mm lens, Alan Gordon NCE-III motor & con- 
troller, custom stand with motor column, lights, 
more, $5,000. B&H 16mm sound projector, 
$1,000.(718)777-1180 

16MM CAMERA Eclair ACL- 12- 120 Angenieux 
zoom lens 2-400 ft. magazines, pistol grip, carrying 
handle, case, small Anton Bauer belt battery, 
charger. Crystal 24 fps only. This camera was total- 
ly overhauled last year. Absolute MINT condition. 
Great for hand-held shooting. $4,500. Call (617) 
489-4708. 

16MM SALE 2 Bolex H-16 Reflex cameras $500 
each. Need cleaning and adjustment. 1 Beaulieu 
16mm with 200 ft magazine $500. Assorted movie 
scopes, rewinds, synchronizers. Best offer (203) 
637-0445 FX 0463 

BETA SP DECK for rent. Sony UVW-1800 Best 
Price in Town! Only $125/day. Call David (212) 
362-1056 

BETACAM SP CAMERA PACKAGE for rent. 
BVW 507 camera, audio 6k lights, $400 per day. 
Top-notch crews available. (212) 620-0933. 

CANON LI Hi8 w/ interchangeable lenses. Used 
once. Like new. $1600 obo. (703) 204-4445 or 
email Beanie222@aol.com 

D-VISION PRO 2.2 NONLINEAR EDITING 

SYSTEM 9 gig drive, Dat BU, CD ROM. 2XMitsu 
giant 20" montiors. Roll ball, keyboard. Lots of 
goodies. Used on one job. Perfect. Paid $20,000. 
Sell for $11,000 or best offer. (203) 637-0445 FX 
0463 

EDIT SYSTEMS/VIDEO DECKS FOR RENT 

All Types Best Prices: Beta-SP (UVW-1800) 
$125/day. Also 3/4", S-VHS, VHS edit systems as 
low as $200/week. Use my Upper Westside office, 
or I deliver and set up. Award-winning editor avail- 



able. David (212) 362-1056. 

FOR RENT OR SALE: Sony CCD-VX3 3-chip Hi8 
camera. Extra chargers and batteries. Please call 
(718) 284-2645. 

FOR RENT: 9 GIG AVID HARD DRIVES dirt 
cheap. For rent as low as $175/week. 1-pass Beta SP 
tapes for sale, cheap. (212) 406-0180. 

LOCATION VAN & 2 ARRI 16MM CAM'S 
zoom, primes, mags, lights, stands, tripod, lots of 
extras. Call for list: All $20,000. (212) 490-9082. 

SONY BVM 1315 RGB Monitor $1500 Microtime 
TBC T-320 $800 FORA FA 310 Digital TBC $900 
Textronicl710B WFMon $500 Magni WF/Vec.Can 
read Pal and Secam $500 (203) 637-0445 

SONY HL-8 9850 Professional Deck with SMPT 
card. This is the highest quality most professional Hi- 
8 deck with 4 tracks, built in TBC. Same as Beta SP 
deck but smaller format. $4,500. (203) 637-0445. 

WANTED: Fresnels, HMI's, softlights, openface, 
KinoFlo, or light kits; gaffer/grip equip.; mic, boom, 
sound equip.; Bolex 16 RX 400' mags; 16mm & 
35mm filmstock; reasonable; send description, prices: 
1407 Swift, Hobart, IN 46342; (219) 688-8673 



Distribution 

FANLIGHT PRODUCTIONS, distrib of award- 
winning film 6k video on disabilities, health care, 
mental health, family/social issues, etc. seeks new 
work for distrib to educ. markets. Karen McMillen, 
Fanlight Productions, 47 Halifax St., Boston, MA 
02130; (800) 937-4113. 

LOOKING FOR EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBU- 
TOR? Consider the University of California. We can 
put 80 years of successful experience in educational 
marketing to work for you. Call Kate Spohr, (510) 
643-2788, or http://www-cmil.unex.berkeley.edu/ 
media/. 

THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multi- 
media distributor, seeks new documentary, fiction, 
educational and animation programs for distribution. 
Send videocassettes or disc for evaluation to The 
Cinema Guild, 1697 Broadway, Suite 506, NY, NY 
10019-5904, (212) 246-5522 fx 5525; email 
TheCinemaG@aol.com Ask for our distribution ser- 
vices brochure. 

UNDERGROUND CINEMA, a distributor special- 
izing in films for the African-American market, seeks 
entertaining short films for a promotional video 
showcasing new black talent. In return, we'll help 
finance your new feature. Call (212) 426-1723. 



Freelancers 

16MM/35MM PROD. PKG w/ cinematographer. 
Complete pkg includes 16mm or Arri 35BL w/ video 
assist, Nagra 6k sound kit, Mole/Lowel lights, dolly, jib 
crane, grip equip. Credits in features, shorts, docs, 
music videos. Call Tom (201) 807-0155. 

A-l DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY. Well 
established with kick-ass reel over 10 features in the 




can. Arri SR, Sony Beta SP, HMIs. Ask me about the 
double maff gaff. I'm fast, efficient and not a vegetar- 
ian. Special rates on my Media 100 for films I shoot. 
Call (203) 254-7370. 

AWARD WINNING EDITOR Avid, Video, Film. 
Experience in Shorts, Docs, commercials, etc. 
Looking for more feature work. Flexible rates, good 
connections, call for reel. Todd Feuer (516) 889- 
0683. 

BETA SP VIDEOGRAPHER New camera, lights, 
mics, the works, will travel, give me a call. Lots of 
experience, will work with your budget. Call Todd 
(516) 889-0683. 

BRENDAN C. FLYNT-Director of Photography 
with 15 feature credits and a dozen shorts. Owns 35 
Arri, Super 16/16 Aaton, HMIs, Tungsten, and Dolly 
with tracks. Call for quotes and reel at ph/fx (212) 
226-8417 or ela292@aol.com Credits: Tromeo and 
Juliet, The Offering, Fine Young Gentlemen, Brushfire. 

CAMERA ASS'T, 16mm 6k 35mm. Experienced in 
Arris 6k Aatons, docs, features, shorts. Knowledge- 
able in Panavision cameras. Pulled focus for Homicide 
camera crew. Punctual, accurate 6k pleasant. Always 
a good listener. Familiar w/ local camera houses. Mary 
(202) 387-4317. 

CAMERAMAN/EDITOR: Docs only, film only. 
Credits include (as director/editor/cameraman): 
Blood in the Face, Feed, The Atomic Cafe; (as camera- 
man) Roger & Me, The War Room. Also: Avid avail- 
able, low-rent. Kevin Rafferty (212) 505-0154. 

CAMERAMAN: Aaton 16mm or Beta SP produc- 
tion package includes lighting, audio and car. Awards 
and experience in music video, features, commer- 
cials, PBS docs, induustrials, etc. Professional work 
ethic. David. (212) 377-2121. 

CAMERAMAN: Award-winning, sensitive, efficient 
shooter w/ 12 yrs. experience in docs, performance, 
corporate, overseas projects. Sony BVW-300A 
Broadcast Beta SP pkg. Rates tailored to project 6k 
budget. Japanese spoken. Scott, Public Eye 
Productions, (212) 627-1244. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Young, talented shooter 
with Beta SP pkg., credits on films by award-winning 
documentary directors. Seeking opportunity mi 
innovative feature docs. Very low rates available for 
exceptional projects. Tsuyoshi (718) 243-9144 

COMPOSER, classically trained rock-and-roller, lu 
ent in all styles. My specialty: Symphonic sound 
on a MIDI budget. Docs, features, experimental, mul- 
timedia; small projects or large, flexible rates. 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



Northeast Negative Matchers, In( 

"Setting New Standards In Negative Cutting" 

Negative Cutting to Film or Video Workprint 

SPECIALIZING IN VIDEO MATCHBACK TO THE AVID FILM COMPOSER 

□ 35mm □ Super 16mm □16mm 



A 



25 Riverview Terrace • Springfield, MA 01 108 • 413/736-2177 • 800/370-CUTS 
North Miami Office 305/940-8878 



^ 



HIGH RES 

Graphics & Animation 
for Feature Films, TV Print 

HIGH SPEED 

3D Rendering 




Experienced, responsive, sympathetic, and fast. Full 
MIDI and Pro Tools setup with SMPTE/VITC lock- 
up. Credits: A&E/History Channel, NPR, PBS, 
WGBH, KPM Music Libraries. Featured in Millimeter. 
For video or audio demo: Paul Lehrman (617) 393- 
4888, lehrman(5 pan.com 

COMPOSER: Astounding original music that suits 
ALL of your needs in all musical styles. Scored fea- 
tures, TV, shorts. Credits include PBS, Sundance. 
Efficient, timely production of scores! Leonard R 
Lionnet (B.M.-Eastman School, M.A.-NYU) (212) 
980-7689. 

CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPFTY 

w/ Lighting Director background. Specialty films my 
specialty. Can give your film that unique "look." 
16mm 6k 35mm packages available. Call Charles for 
reel at (212) 295-7878. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting features, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits 
include features, commercials, industrials, short films, 
music videos. Aaton 16/S-16 pkg avail. Call Abe 
(914) 783-3159. 

| DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ complete 

Arri 16 BL camera pkg. Rates are flexible 6k I work 
quickly. Features, shorts, music videos. Much indie 
film experience. I can work deals that save you 
| money. Willing to travel. Matthew (617) 244-6730 or 
(914) 439-5459 for reel. 

I DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with 35 mm 
Arntlex B camera available. Great reel, affordable 
rates. Crew on request. Call tor reel: David (212) 
679-9510. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY. If you dream 
about Hollywood, you need a super-class DP That's 
why you need me. I'll make an incredible film with my 
ivvn equipment. Contact Natasha (718) 745-5139. 

I EDITOR: Experienced Avid editor available tor free- 
lance work on independent docs and features. Strong 
documentary background. Interested in projects 
challenging in form and content. Rates adjustable 
based on the project. Please call John (212) 787-5481 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: Frequent con- 
tributor to "Legal Briefs" column in The lndependmt 
6k other magazines, offers legal sen-ices to film 6k 
video community on projects from development to 
distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact: Robert L. 
Seigel, Esq. (212) 307-7533. 

EXPERIENCED DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRA- 
PHY w/ Arri 16 SR & Aaton S-16 pkgs, plus Mole 
Richardson lighting pkg, seeks interesting film pro- 
jects in feature or short-subject form. Very reasonable 
rates for new directors 6k screenwriters. (212) 737- 
6815; fax 423-1125. 

INSANELY FAST EDITOR with network credits 
and a brand- spankin' new Avid is poised to tackle 
your project or just rent you the Avid (MC Offline, 
Beta deck, 36+ gigs). Need I say rates that will knock 
your socks off? Doug (212) 665-6708. 

LOCATION SOUND: Over 20 yrs sound exp. w 
time code Nagra 6k DAT quality mics. Consider pro- 
jects anywhere, anytime. Reduced rates for low-bud- 
get films/videos. Harvey 6k Fred Edwards (SIS) 677- 
5720; beeper (800) 796-7363 (ext pin 1021996), 



52 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



edfilms@worldnet.att.net 

MUSIC FOR FILM. Versatile, flexible composing & 
production team w/ credits and state-of-the-art 
recording facility available for all your soundtrack 
needs. Call for demo (516) 883-2257. 

PRODUCER/ACTOR with 8 lead credits (features) 

has trucks, HMI & tungsten lights, RV, 17' tulip 

- crane, SRI 1-16 camera, offline D2 pro 2.2 all ready 

I to go. Make tour project happen — no upfront cash. 

I Call: Danny (706) 865-1888; fax -5225. 

I STEADICAM: Dolly smooth moves w/ the flexibili- 
' ty of a hand-held camera. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 
. 228-4254. 

VIDEOJOURNALIST: own professional digital 

3ccd/superversatile microcamera. Can shoot/edit 

1 long/short docs and more. Exp.: live events, social 

i issues, entertainment. Large/great! archive. European 

. credits, humor, talent. Luisa Q. (212) 260-9349. 



f Opportunities • Gigs 

ANIMATION FACULTY POSITION at 

I Evergreen State College. Seeking working 

artist/teacher with exp. teaching at least 2 of follow- 

i ing: drawn, cut-out-puppet or 3-D, clay, computer or 

i direct animation. Must integrate theory/practice, 

engage politics of race/class/gender, film history & 

i criticism. MFA preferred. Contact: Hiring 

(Coordinator, TESC, L 2211, Olympia, WA 98505; 

i(360) 866-6000 x6861; blodgetd@elwha.ever- 

green.edu 

I EARN EXTRA INCOME Earn $200-$500 weekly 
mailing phone cards. For information send a SASE 
to: Inc., EO. Box 0887, Miami, FL 33164. 

| MARKETING INTERNS Oppt'y for $$$ marketing 
I projs w/ Prema Productions, Inc. Features, WWW, 

docus. Contact Mario Chioldi (212)479-7397; |l 

prema 1 @ aol.com 

MONEY AVAILABLE TO FILM/VIDEOMAK- 
ERS! Complete Directory of Grants, Scholarships, 
Festivals, Fellowships, Residencies, Contests, 
Distributors, Producers, Agencies-More! $15.95 to 
AJAR, 505 Boquest, #B. Paradise, CA 95969. 

IPT/FT FACULTY needed for MBA in Media 
I Management. Film, TV, radio, music & multimedia 
industry history, mgmt. 6k marketing, entertainment 
and comm. law, media econ. 6k finance. 
MBA/PhD/ABD or JD + prof, experience required. 
I Classes Friday eve. 6k Sat. Contact: Box R, Audrey 
(Cohen College, 75 Varick St., NY, NY 10013-1919. 

TENURE TRACK Dept. of Media Study at SUNY 
Buffalo has two tenure/tenure track openings for 
Sept. '97. One in film/media with emphasis on video, 
one in digital arts. MFA or equiv. preferred but cre- 
ative excellence essential. Women/minorities encour- 
aged to apply. EO/AA employer. See our website: 
http://wings.buffalo.edu/academic/department 
AandL/ media_study/, or contact Roy Roussel (716) 
645-6902; fax: 645-6979. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in 
NYC seeking cameraman and soundmen w/ Betacam 
video experience to work with our wide array of news 
and news magazine clients. If qualified, contact COA 



MEDIA100® SUITES 

WITH OR WITHOUT EDITOR 

= LOTS of media storage 
= Custom graphics, FX, 
3-D Animation with 
after effects 
electric image 
photoshop, etc... 
^Conversion for cd-rom 

and Internet 
= Camera pkgs. & crews 
= Voice-over booth 

Great Noho Location 




AVID. AVID. AVID. AVID. AVID, 



AVR 75 // 4 CHANNELS // AVID SEMINARS // EXPERIENCED EDITORS 




• OFF-LINE FROM $750 / WEEK 

• ON-LINE FROM $ 1 1 OO / WEEK 



LUNA 

PICTURES 



2 1 2 255 2564 // 34 W 1 7 ST 



FABULOUS ROOMS // BRAND NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART POWERMAC 9500 



INDIE FEATURE SPECIAL RATES 



NEW DAY FILMS is the premiere distrib- 
ution cooperative for social issue media. 
Owned and run by it's members, New 
Day Films has successfully distributed 
documentary film and video for twenty- 
five years. 

Call 914.485.8489 



http : //www. newday.com 



Seeking ENERQETic;:,;: 

INDEPENDENT MAKERS , 
OF SOCIAL ISSUE 
DOCUMENTARIES FOR j 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



immediately at (212) 505-1911 

WOMAN CINEMATOGRAPHER wanted for 
independent feature film (35mm/super 16mm) shoot- 
ing 1997, Ohio. Innovative camera techniques essen- 
tial. Reel/resume to Tomboy Films, 417 Tusculum 
Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45226 (513) 321- 



Preproduction • Development 



ATTENTION NEW PROJECT PRODUCERS: 

Do you need help focusing your idea? Are you look- 
ing for professional feedback on your proposal; seek- 
ing advice in outlining a budget and timeline? Let us 
help you translate your idea into a workable plan. 
Call Lavine Production Group (212) 725-1965. 

MOVIE MONEY Software helps write investment 
memo for fundraising of your film. DOS/ 
Windows/PowerMac. 100% guarantee. $29.95 (CA 
add 8.25%) + %3 s/h. Check or money order to: Ted 
Chalmers, Dept. MM-FV, 9016 Wilshire Blvd., #324, 
Beverly Hills, CA 90211 or send SASE. (310) 226- 
2935. 



P0STPR0DUCTI0N 



16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate 
fully equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr 
access. Downtown, near all subways & Canal St. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 



16MM SOUND MIX only $75/hr! Fully equipped 
mix studio for features, shorts, docs. 16mm post ser- 
vices: picture & sound editorial, ADR, interlock 
screening, 16 mag xfers (.06/ft incl. stock), 16mm 
edgecoding (.01/ft.). Call Tom (201) 807-0155. 

AVID 8000 & 1000 SUITES. Pleasant, friendly, 
comfortable uptown or midtown locations or deliv- 
ered to your studio. On-line or off-line, AVR 27, 
Protools, reasonable 6k affordable rates. (212) 595- 
5002 or (718) 885-0955. 

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER 400 with ProTools, 18 
gigs, 2 3/4" decks (9800 & 9850), multisystem VHS, 
spacious edit suite with windows & view, 24-hr 
access. Excellent negotiable rate. (212) 736-9606. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY: Film-to-tape masters. 
Reversal only. Regular 8mm, S-8, or archival 16mm 
to 1" or Betacam-SR We love early B&W & 
Kodachrome. Scene-by-scene only. Correct frame 
rates. For appointment, call (508) 948-7985. 

DOWNTOWN PRODUCTION OFFICE FOR 
RENT 400 sq. ft., 4-line phone system w/ voicemail, 
separate fax line, copier, TV/VCR, cable. We cater to 
independent film/videomakers. Broadway/Houston 
area. Weekly/monthly. Call High Voltage Productions 
at (212) 295-7878. 

EDIT IN ALBANY NY area. Fast video mach. com- 
puter w/ Sony SVO 5600-5800 SVHS, A/B roll 
offline/online. TC support, real-time f/x. Direct inter- 
net link. $40/hr, $55/hr w/ed. Discount daily/wkly 
rates. (518)276-8276; Info@focusweb.com 



INTERFORMAT OFFLINE SUITE (3/4", Hi8, 
VHS). Sony system in clean, spacious uptown loca- 
tion. VO9850/9800 w/ RM450, 2 13" monitors, Hi8 
& VHS. Rates: $12/hr, $85/day, $380/wk. Editor 
$15/hr. Dubs in 3/4", VHS, Hi8. (212) 316-3842. 

KLEITMAN FILMWORKS NYC: A space fori 
video and film artists. Nonlinear video editing at| 
$20/hr. All formats. 1-on-l instruction avail. 3D/2DI 
animation, image manipulation. Call us at (212) 967- 1 
2641. 

MUSIC FOR FILM that knocks your sox off. Over| 
1 5 indie/corporate videos. Fast, friendly, professional, 
creative, cool. State-of-the-art studio, 28 yrs expert- 1 
ence. Taughd Anderson (800) 925-4762 or (801) 
467-4379 for demo. 



Websites 

ATTENTION FILMMAKERS Present yourself,! 
your project, or your production company on the| 
WWW. Quality web page design at affordable prices. 
http://www.logtv.com; grunberg(5 logtv.com; (800) | 
274-4771. 

WEBSITES Low as $99, no hidden charges, film- J 
makers a specialty. Free brochure: Kud:u New Medial 
Studios, Box 572349, Tarzana.CA 91356. (818) 569- 1 
3015. kudzumedia@worldnet.att.net http:// www. 
kudzunet.com 



Hi-8/Betacam Sp 

Packages 

SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
PACKAGE... $400 

SONY, PRO HI BAND 
PACKAGE... $200 

INCLUDED IN EACH PACKAGE: 

■ Light Kit plus Sun Gun w/Battery Belt 

■ Audio Kit plus Shore Field Mixer FP32 

■ Field monitor ■ Fluid tripod 

■ 

VHS -VHS PROFESSIONAL 
EDITING SYSTEM 

DO YOUR HI-8 AND BETACAM SP 
OFF LINE EDITING ON: 

JVC BR8600U to JVC BR8600U 
W/RM86U editing console... $10 per/hr. 

PEOPLE W/AIDS PROJECTS DISCOUNT 


I Manahatta Images Corp. 

'. 260 WEST 10TH STREET, STE. IE 

Y.: NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10014 

1 \M 212-807-8825 FAX AVAILABLE 






notices of relevance to aivf members are 
listed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and can make no guarantees about 
the number of placements for a given notice, 
limit submissions to 60 words and indicate 
how long info will be current. deadline: 1st 
of the month, two months prior to cover 
date (e.g., jan. 1 for mar. issue). complete 
contact info (name, mailing address & tele- 
phone numbers) must accompany all notices, 
send to: independent notices, fivf, 304 
hudson st., 6th fl, ny, ny 10013. we try to be as 
current as possible w/ information but 
please double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

ATHENA AWARDS FOR LESBIAN EXCEL- 
LENCE IN FILM, the Latham Foundation's 
"Search of Excellence" Video Competition seeks 
videos completed and released btwn Jan. 1, 1990 & 
Dec. 31, 1996. Winners receive nat'l & local media 
attention, awards 6k publicity in a special issue of 
Latham Letter. For entry forms, send SASE to: 
Latham Foundation, Attn: Video Awards, Latham 
Plaza Building, Clement & Schiller Streets, 
Alameda, CA 94501; (510) 521-0920 

HIP FLICK'S SCREENWRITING COMPETI- 
TION accepting entries through Jan. 31 Entrants 
notified by Mar. 31. Top 10 scripts receive cash 
awards. Winners eligible for possible production 
6k/or option deal w/ company. Entry fee: $30. SASE 
to: Hip Flicks, Box 8867, Atlanta, GA 30306- 
08647; (770) 418-1293; hipflix@atl.mindspring. 
com; www.mindspring.com/hipflix. 

MONTEREY COUNTY FILM COMMISSION 

announces 1997 screenwriting competition. $1,500 
top prize. Contest open to writers who haven't yet 
earned money writing for TV or film. Submit 90- 
130 pg film or TV scripts. Entry fee: $40/script, 
multiple submits accepted. Deadline: Jan 10. Send 
SASE to: MCFCSC, Box 111, Monterey, CA 
93942-0111; (408) 646-0910. 

SCREENWRITING COMPETITION spon- 
sored by Scorpio Pictures seeks innovative, com- 
mercial scripts for film/TV All genres. $500 cash 
prize with potential production options. $35 entry 
fee. Deadline: Jan. 15. For rules, send SASE to: 
Scorpio Pictures, Box 1231, Sykesville, MD 21784- 
1231. . 

WRITERS WORKSHOP NATIONAL 
SCRIPTWRITING CONTEST accepting 
scripts. 5 to 6 winners will be chosen to receive 
$500 award. Winners also receive free tuition for 
critical evaluation of scripts before panel of motion 
picture agents, producers, writers & directors. 
Deadline: Ongoing. For submission info, send legal 
size SASE w/ 60tf postage to: Willard Rogers, 
Writers Workshop Nat'l Contest, Box 69799, L.A., 
CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 

Conferences • Workshops 

IFFCON '97 OPEN DAY: 4th Int'l Film 
Financing Conference announces Open Day, Jan. 



10. 1997. Full day of panels 6k networking opportuni- 
ties w/ key int'l film financiers 6k buyers. This is only 
day of IFFCON w/ open registration. Registr. fee: 
$125. Info/Registration: (415) 281-9777 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS offer 
seminars on "Copyright Basics," "Not-for-profit 
Incorporation and Tax Exemption," 6k more. 
Reservations must be made: (212) 319-2910. 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

ASHLAND CABLE ACCESS seeks video shows. 
VHS, S-VHS 6k 3/4" OK, any length or genre. For 
return, incl. sufficient SASE. Send w/ description 6k 
release to: Suzi Aufderheide, Southern Oregon State 
College, RVTV, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 
97520; (541) 552-d 



AUSTIN, TX, ind. producer w/ cable access venue 
for ind. films 6k videos, all genres 6k subjects. Shorts 
6k music videos linked by discussions on ind. films. 
Films/videos running longer than 40 min. may be 
aired in series of 2 consecutive shows. Send release 6k 
info about film/filmmaker. 1/4" 6k 3/4" preferable. No 
payment, but credit 6k exposure. James Shelton, Tex- 
Cinema Productions, Box 3633, Austin, TX 78764- 
3633; (512) 867-9901. 

AXLEGREASE, Buffalo cable access program of ind. 
film 6k video, accepting all genres under 28 min., 
1/2", 3/4", 8mm, Hi8. Send labeled w/ name, address, 
title, length, additional info 6k SASE for tape return 
to: Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 
14201; (716) 884-7172, wheel@freenet.buffalo.edu; 
http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~wheel. 

BLACK BOOT MEDIA PROJECT of Perry 
County Ind. Media Arts Center seeks ind. film 6k 
video works for regular series of roving screenings at 
various industrial, commerical 6k residential venues 
in Philadelphia 6k Harrisburg area. Submit S-8, 
16mm, VHS or S-VHS w/ SASE to: PCIMAC, Lower 
Bailey Rd., RR2-Box 65, Newport, PA 17074. For 
info contact: Jeff Dardozzi (215) 545-7884- 

BURLE AVANT curating "530 Lines of 
Resolution," digital video art night at Den of Thieves 
on Lower East Side in NYC. Video artists encouraged 
to submit works; no entry fees required. Send NTSC 
VHS tapes under 15 min. by UPS or hand deliver to: 
530 Lines of Resolution, c/o The Outpost, 1 18 North 
11 St., 4th fl, Brooklyn, NY 11211; (718) 599-2385 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS travelling exhibition 
and anthology on racial and sexual indeterminacy. 
Send slides, abstracts, info and SASE to Erin 
Valentino, Dept. of Art and Art History, University of 
Connecticut, 875 Coventry Road U-99, Storrs, CT 
06269; fax (860) 486-3869; evalentino@finearts.sfa. 
uconn.edu 

CHARISMATIC MASS TELEVISION seeks 
media art shorts for new monthly screening series. All 
genres accepted, any length. Ongoing deadline. Send 
artist statement, videotape 6k SASE. 3/4" preferred, 
Hi8 or 1/2" OK; returnable w/ SASE. Syracuse 
University, Art Media Studies, attn: Justine Wood, 
102 Shaffer Art Bldg., Syracuse, NY 13244. 

CUCALORUS FILM FEST seeks indie works of 
varying lengths and genres. Super 8, 16mm, 35mm, 
3/4", Beta and SVHS video. Preview copies on VHS 




only. $10 entry fee before Feb 15, $15 for entries 
before March 1. RO. Box 2763, Wilmington, NC 
28402; (910) 815-3818. 

DANCE ON VIDEO wanted for Spirit of Dance, live 
1-hr monthly program covering all types 6k aspects of 
dance. Under 5 min. or excerpts from longer works. 
S-VHS preferred. Call producers at (508) 430-1321, 
759-7005; fax: 398-4520. Contact: Ken Glazebrook, 
656 Depot St., Harwich, MA 02645. 

DUTV-CABLE 54, progressive, nonprofit access 
channel in Philadelphia, seeks works by ind. produc- 
ers. All genres 6k lengths considered. No payment; 
will return tapes. VHS, S-VHS 6k 3/4" accepted. 
Contact: George McCollough or Maria Mongelli, 
DUTV-Cable 54, Drexel University, 33rd 6k Chesnut 
Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895-2927. 

FILMMAKERS UNITED presents monthly film 
series at Silent Movie Theatre in LA. Year-round 
venue for ind. short films. To submit a film (must 
have 16mm or 35 mm print for screening 6k be no 
longer than 40 min.,) send a 1/2" video copy w/ SASE 
to: Filmmakers United, 1260 N. Alexandria Ave., 
LA, CA 90029; (213) 427-8016. 

FROG PRODUCTIONS seeks student/ind. fims 6k 
videos for cable access TV show. Any length/genre, 
VHS preferred, 1/2" or 3/4" acceptable. Include info 
about work/artist, SASE if return desired. Frog Prods, 
Box 158, Shelbume Falls, MA 01370. 

GAY MEN'S HEALTH CRISIS seeks short videos 
(10 min or less) for Living With AIDS, half-hr maga- 
zine weekly seen in Manhattan, Queens 6k Brooklyn, 
produced by GMHC 6k NYC Dept. of Health. No 
budget for licensing programs, but opportunity to be 
seen by millions. VHS or 3/4" tapes (no originals) 
must deal w/ HIV/AIDS issues, or present person(s) 
infected/affected by HIV/AIDS in positive way. May 
not be sexually explicit. All tapes returned. Send to: 
Kristen Thomas, Living with AIDS Showcase of 
Independent Video, GMHC Multimedia Dept., 129 
W. 20th St., NY, NY 10011; (212) 337-3655. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA seeks videos 
of any length about people with disabilities. Programs 
will air on Atlanta's Cable 12. No fees, however cred- 
it 6k exposure to large viewing audience. VHS pre- 
ferred, s-VHS, 3/4" acceptable. Sharon Douglas, 
Handi-Capable in the Media, Inc. 2625 Piedmont 
Rd. Suite 56-137 Atlanta, GA 30324. 

IN SHORT, a 1/2-hr program that airs bi-monthly, 
seeks submissions for public access show in NY. 
Preference given to works created w/ digital video. 
On every 4th program, work produced hy or featuring 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



Revolutionary pTTM 




SCHOOL 

with Dov S-S Simens 



If you haven't 

Produced , directed or 

distributed an 

independent feature 

film.., 

...You haven't taken 

this course. 

...Spike & Quentin did! 



LOS ANGELE S 

Feb 1-2 or Mar 15-16 

AUSTRALIA: Jan 15-16 or Jan 25-26 

PROVO, UTAH: Feb 15-16 

SAN FRANCISCO: Feb 22-23 

PHOENIX; Mar 22-23 



Can't Attend? Can't Wait? 
Audio Film School™ Available 



$2§9 



CYBERSPACE FILM SCHOOU 
http://Hollywoodl),com 



HFI, PO Box 481252, LA, CA 90048 



HOLLYWOOD 



800-366-3456 



mm 

INSTITUTE 



Broadcast Hi-8 
Beta Sp 

$2204400. 

COMPLETE EN6 PRODUCTION PACKAGES INCLUDE.- 

Camera in a backpack • tripod 

field monitor • power supply 

batteries • light kit 

lavalier & shotgun • all the cables 

Hi-8 to VHS window dubs too! 

"We understand independents because 
we are independents!" 



Bless Bless Productions 
212.242.3009 

e-mail: blessbless@aol.com 



In the heart of Texas you'll find 
the heart of the movie industry. 

Call for a free brochure, price list and screen credits. 214/869 -01 OO 




When you finish 

shooting for the day, 

that little tin can contains 

more than film. ..it contains 

your heart and soul. At Allied Digital 

Technologies we understand that. Which is 

why since 1 982 hundreds of feature films, 

commercials and music videos have been trusted to 

Allied for processing. In fact, we're one of the few labs 

in the country to consistently receive an excellent 

quality rating from Eastman Kodak. To maintain our 

standard of excellence we continue to stay on the 

cutting edge of today's technology. 



We provide the best in 
video and audio duplication, 
CDS CD-ROM replication, 
fulfillment and distribution 
services... all under one^ roof. Providing you with 
an original image of unsurpassed quality is our main 
goal. Whether it's for a feature, commercial, CD- 
ROM, DVD or HDTV project, Allied has the people 
and experience to meet your demanding standards. 
So wherever you're shooting today, remember 
we're only a short flight away in the heart of Texas. 



• All This and More Under One Roof • Packase Pricing Available • 1 6mm/Super 1 6mm/35mm Camera 
Original Overnight Processing & Dailies • 1 6mm/35mm Mixing Facilities • Complete with Video SSL Screen Sound. 

Foley, Editing • Rank Transfer Service- to D-2, Digital Betacam, 1 " Type C, Betacam, Betacam SP, 3/4", S-VHS 

with Nagra-T Sync Capabilities. 3/4" SP, 1/2" VHS, or Beta (Including Interlock Transfer) 

• Video Dailies from 35mm, 16mm, and Super 16mm, with KEYKODE TLC Edit Controller, Flex File & Key Log 



EASY ACCESS- Over 3000 flights in & out of Dallas daily 



AlllED 



Disihl Unions its Cjbl 



E-Mail atTxtbifa@allied.mhs.compuserve.com or 
6305 N. O'Connor Rd. Suite 111, Irving, TX 75039-3510 Fax(214) 869-2117 



women highlighted. Works up to 28 min., submitted 
on VHS for preview, available in 3/4". Send to: In 
Short, 240 East 27th St., Suite 17N, NY, NY 10016; 
(212) 689-0505. 

IN THE LIFE seeks gay/lesbian shorts for nat'l bdcst 
during Gay Pride week. Up to 10 min., narrative or 
doc. Deadline: Jan. 17. Contact: In the Life Shorts 
Fest, 30 W. 26 St., 7 fl., NY, NY 10010; (212) 255- 
6012 x. 308. 

IN THE MIX, nat'l PBS series, seeks short (2-8 
min.) videos produced by teens or young adults. Any 
format. Send tape w/ description to: In the Mix, 102 
E. 30th St., NY, NY 10016, attn: student videos. 

LND. FILM & VIDEO SHOWCASE, cable access 
show seeks student & ind. films 6k videos to give 
exposure. Send 3/4" format w/ paragraph about artist 
& work. The Independent Film & Video Showcase, 
6755 Yucca St., #8, Hollywood, CA 90028, attn: 
Jerry Salata. 

I INDEPENDENT EXPOSURE, monthly screening 
program seeks experimental, avant-garde, doc, narra- 
tive. Possible monetary renumeration. Submit your 
films and/or videos on 1/2" or 8mm video. Clearly 
label tapes with ritle, length, name, address 6k phone. 
Include SASE if you wish tapes returned. Contact: 
I Blackchair Prod., 2318 Second Ave., #313A Seattle, 
I WA 98121; (206) 282-3592; joel(5 speakeasy.org. 

J KNITTING FACTORY VIDEO LOUNGE seeks 
[jl VHS tapes for on-going weekly series of theme-based 
screenings. Any genre or subject. Send tape w/ brief 
bio to: Joanna Spitzner, Box 1220 Canal St. Station, 
I NY, NY, 10012. If tape return desired, include self- 
addressed envelope w/ sufficient postage. 

LA VOZ LATINA III: LATLNA/O VIDEO ART 
FROM THE U.S.A. Looking for videos by 
Latinas/os (inclusive term that describes Chicanos, 
Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Caribbeans, Central/South 
Americans, etc., from the U.S.) for possible inclusion 
in curated program of video tapes to be presented at 
the Fesrival Internacional de Video del Cono Sur tak- 
ing place in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and 
Uruguay and the Festival de Cine Latinoamericano 
in Italy during 1997. Deadline: Jan. 10, 1997. Send 
VHS preview w/ description, reviews, resume, bio 6k 
S.A.S.E for return of tape to: Luis Valdovino, Ass't 
Professor, Fine Arts., Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO 
80309; (303) 492-5482; fax: (303) 4924886. 

LO BUDJIT FILMZ AND VIDEOS seeks submis- 
sions for VHS or Less, show focusing on camcorder 
movies. Embarass old friends, showcase your dusty 
old tapes. Large bi-coastal audience. Send to: 147 
Ave A, BoxlR NY, NY 10009; (212) 533-0866. 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION seek- 
ing story 7 proposals from U.S. citizen or permanent 
resident minority filmmakers for National Geo- 
graphic Explorer, award-winning doc series. To 
request appl. for CDP (Cultural Diversity Project), 
call: (202) 862-8637. 

NORTH CAROLINA VISIONS, series broadcast- 
ing selected works statewide on public TV, seeks 
works of any genre (except corporate/instructional) 
produced by ind. artists currently residing in NC. 
Modest monetary compensation 6k telecast filmmak- 
er interview of artist for works selected. Entry fee: 
$15 for individuals, $5 for students 6k NC Media Arts 



56 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



T 


H 


E 




A 


s s 


o c 


1 A T 


1 


O 


N 




O 


F 




1 


D 


1 
E 


N 


D E 


P E 


N D 


E 


N 


T 


E 


R 




V 


O 


& 


F 1 


L M 


M 


A 


K 


S 



Diverse, committed, 
opinionated, and 
fiercely indepen- 
dent — these are the 
video and filmmak- 
ers who are mem- 
bers of AIVF. 
Documentary and 
feature filmmakers, animators, experi- 
mentalists, distributors, educators, 
students, curators — all concerned 
that their work make a difference — 
find the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers, the national 
service organization for independent 
producers, vital to their professional 
lives. Whether it's our magazine, The 
Independent Film & Video Monthly, or 
the organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your indepen- 
dence while letting you know you're 
not alone. 

AIVF helps you save time and money 
as well. You'll find you can spend 
more of your time (and less of your 
money) on what you do best — getting 
your work made and seen. To succeed 
as an independent today, you need a 
wealth of resources, strong connec- 
tions, and the best information avail- 
able. So join with more than 5,000 
other independents who rely on AIVF 
to help them succeed. 
JOIN AIVF TODAY! 

Here's what membership offers: 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM & 
VIDEO MONTHLY 

Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent. 
Thought-provoking features, news, 
and regular columns on business, 



technical, and legal matters. Plus fes- 
tival listings, funding deadlines, exhi- 
bition venues, and announcements of 
member activities and new programs 
and services. Special issues highlight 
regional activity and focus on subjects 
including media education and the 
new technologies. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase dis- 
counted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF suppli- 
ers. A range of health insurance 
options are available, as well as special 
liability, E&O, and production plans 
tailored for the needs of low-budget 
mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

A growing list of businesses across the 
country offer AIVF members dis- 
counts on equipment and auto 
rentals, film processing, transfers, 
editing, and other production necessi- 
ties. Plus long-distance and overnight 
courier services are available at spe- 
cial rates for AIVF members from 
national companies. In New York, 
members receive discounted rates at 
two hotels to make attendance at our 
programs and other important events 
more convenient. 

CONFERENCE /SCREENING 
ROOM 

AIVF's new office has a low-cost 
facility for members to hold meetings 
and small private screenings of work 
for friends, distributors, programmers, 
funders, and producers. 



INFORMATION 

We distribute a series of publications 
on financing, funding, distribution, 
and production; members receive dis- 
counts on selected titles. AIVF's staff 
also can provide information about 
distributors, festivals, and general 
information pertinent to your needs. 
Our library houses information on 
everything from distributors to sample 
contracts to budgets. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, AND 
SEMINARS 

Members get discounts on events cov- 
ering the whole spectrum of current 
issues and concerns affecting the 
field, ranging from business and aes- 
thetic to technical and political top- 
ics. Plus: members-only evenings with 
festival directors, producers, distribu- 
tors, cable programmers, and funders. 

ADVOCACY 

Members receive periodic advocacy 
alerts, with updates on important leg- 
islative issues affecting the indepen- 
dent field and mobilization for collec- 
tive action. 

COMMUNITY 

AIVF sponsors monthly member get- 
togethers in cities across the country; 
call the office for the one nearest you. 
Plus members are carrying on active 
dialogue online — creating a "virtual 
community" for independents to 
share information, resources, and 
ideas. Another way to reach fellow 
independents to let them know about 
your screenings, business services, and 
other announcements is by renting 
our mailing list, available at a dis- 
count to members. 



« 

!■ 



m 



jHukkSrE 



H 



f&V 



SB5& 



m 



ftfi 



m 



wh 



KtfftSl 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual/Student Membership 

Year's subscription to The Independent • Access to all plans and discounts • Festival/ 
Distribution/Library services • Information Services • Discounted admission to seminars • 
Book discounts • Advocacy action alerts • Eligibility to vote and run for board of directors 

Supporting Membership 

All the above for two individuals at one address, with 1 subscription to The Independent 

Non-profit Organizational/Business & Industry Membership 

All the above benefits, except access to health insurance plans • 2 copies of The Independent 
• 1 free FIVF-published book per year • Complimentary bulk shipments of The Independent to 
conferences, festivals, and other special events • Special mention in The Independent • 
Representative may vote and run for board of directors 



Library Subscription 

Year's subscription to The Independent only 



JOIN AIVF TODAY 



-tr 



Membership Rates 

Q $25/student (enclose copy of student ID) 

□ $45/individual 
Q| $75/supporting 

Q $75/library subscription 

Q $100/non-profit organization 

□ $150/business & industry 

Name(s) 







4> 


Organization 


$ 


Address 




$ 


City 




$ 


State 
Country 


ZIP 


A^i- Jt 


Weekday tel. 


Fax 


E-mail 




bignatu 



Mailing Rates 

□ Canada- Add $15 

□ Mexico - Add $20 

□ All Other - Add $45 

Q USA - Magazines are mailed Second-class; 
add $20 for First-class mailing 

Membership cost 

Mailing costs (if applicable) 

Contribution tO FIVF (make separate tax-deductihle check payable to FIVF) 

Total amount enclosed (check or money onfc) 
Or please bill my □ Visa □ MC 



Exp. date I II I 



AIVF/FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th Fl., NY, NY 10013; (212) 807-1400 x 235; fax (212) 463-8519 

http://www.virtualfilm.com/AIVF/ 






■ 



bivl 



1 :**>„. v. 



Jm 



K8H 



SonA! 



■"'•"'-■• ■'■.': - 

1 . -"•'• \ 



M 



mm 



BHL 



■ 



m 



■TR 



■Wj 



H 



■ 



ii^i 






Alliance members; separate fee for each submission. 
Contact: Ellen Walters, NC Visions, Broadcast- 
ing/Cinema Program, 100 Carmichael Bldg., UNCG, 
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001; fax (910) 334-5039; 
ncvision@hamlet. uncg.edu. 

OCULAR ARCADE, on ACTV in Columbus, OH, 
showcases ind. video (art, doc, experimental). Send 
Hi8, VHS, or 3/4" dub to: Ocular Arcade, D. Master, 
135 West 1st Ave., Columbus, OH 43201. 

OCULARIS: New screening room seeks 16mm 
shorts for regular screenings in East Village 
/Williamsburg area of NYC, particularly by local film- 
makers. Please call or send SASE for info: Ocularis, 
91 N. 4th St., #3R, Brooklyn, NY 11211; (718)388- 
8713. 

PAUL ROBESON BIRTHDAY COMMITTEE 

seeks film artists who have produced films about 
Robeson, or would consider doing so. DuSable 
Museum of African American History, 740 East 56th 
Place, Chicago, IL 60637; (312) 373-0994, fx (708) 
386-2414. 

PERIPHERAL PRODUCE currently seeking alt 
short films &. videos for weekly late night TV pro- 
gram 6k local screenings. Submit VHS tape/info (& 
SASE for return) to: Peripheral Produce, Box 40835, 
Portland, OR 97240-0835. 

REAL TV looking for dynamic videos: news, weath- 
er, sports, bloopers, busts, "caught in the act." Real 
TV, syndicated, daily video magazine, will showcase 
compelling videos from around the world — from pro- 
fessionals as well as amateurs who capture video 
snapshots of life in the 90s. Tapes will not be 
returned. Contact: Real TV, Hollywood Center 
Studios, Stage 2, 1040 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles, 
CA 90038; (213) 860-0100. 

SAN FRANCISCO SHORT FILMS, new org. ded- 
icated to supporting short narrative film as unique art 
form, seeks films under 35 min. for screening pro- 
grams. Must be resident of 415, 510, 408, 707, 916, or 
209 area codes in Northern CA. Films must have 
been completed after Jan. 1, 1993. All formats OK; 
submit VHS preview to: Box 424520, San Francisco, 
CA 94142. Submissions can also be brought to 
monthly meeting, first Thursday ea. month, 7 pm, at 
Colossal Studios, 15th St. & DeHaro. 

SAUCE GALLERY AND MOMENTA ART, two 

alternative spaces in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, cur- 
rently accepting entries for on-going film/video series. 
Mission is to identify and exhibit compelling new 
work no longer than 30 min. All formats & genres. 
Submit in VHS w/ SASE & brief description of work 
to: Sauce Gallery, 173 A North 3rd St., Brooklyn, NY 
11211; attn: Lisa Schroeder (718) 486-8992 or Laura 
Parnes (718) 782-8907. 

SEEKS FOOTAGE: Tigress Productions seeks 8mm 
or S-8 footage of 42nd St./Times Square area from 
1960s 6k 70s for doc. All film returned, some paid, 
film credit. Contact: June Lang (212) 977-2634- 

SEEKS FOOTAGE: TV-1 Productions seeks footage 
on Cuba for upcoming doc. Every aspect of life in the 
island welcome. Formats: Hi8, SVHS, 3/4", Beta, 
DVD, 8mm 6k 16mm. Tapes returned. Payment nego- 
tiable. For more info, contact: Marcos N. Suarez, 
2102 Empire Central, Dallas, TX 75235; (214) 357- 
2186. 



BETA SP COMPONENT ON-LINE 



♦ ADO/Chyron Superscribe (optional) 

♦ Hi-8 Transfers 

♦ Duplication From All Formats 
Special Night Rates 



AVID 



# Great Rates 



On-Line 

♦ AVR27 - Component, in & out 

♦ 3D Real Time Effects 

Off-Line 

♦ MC-800 w/4 ch. Audio Playback 

Editor Training Available — Mac Graphics 

i # Great Support # 



on track video 

1 04 W. 29th St., 1 2th Floor (21 2)244-0744 




Fits the following Cameras: 
Aaton Cameras 
-LTR7 

- LTR 54 
-XTR 

- XTR Plus 
All Arriflex Cameras 

-Arri S, SB, M 

-Arri16BL 

-Arri SR 1,2,3 

-Arri 2A,B,C 

-Arri3C <£COO « 

-Arri 35BL 1,2,3,4 kj>3;7" 
Bolex Reflex Cameras 

-Rex 1,2,3,4,5 
Eclair ACL 



Eclair NPR 
Cinema Products 

-CP16A 

-CP16R 
Krasnogorsk-3 
Reflex Lens Finders 
Many Others 



Each Universal Assist comes with the following: Black 
and White CCD compact video camera with auto iris 
Optics and viewfinder coupling device; AC Power sup- 
ply; DC power cable (4 Pin XLR); BNC to RCAadaptor 
Form fitted watertight hard travel case; Warranty. 

Color for only $799! 



> 



Specifications: 

Video Source 

Auto Iris/Auto shutter 

Resolution 

Video Output 

Power Requirements 

Optional output 

Weight 



Black and White CCD 

Yes 

380 lines horizontal 

BNC connector 

12VDC1.2W 

Combined power/video 

Less than 290g. 



MfSlA 



National 

Sales 

Agent: 




B£ 



IMG & 



EEC 



5 



Tel 
■Fax 



305-949-8800 
305-949-760C 









[=>ie3Hra 


AUDIO PRODUCTION^ 


• SOUND DESIGN 

• Foley, ADR, t 

• ORIGINAL MUS 

• LIBRARY MUSK 

• COMPETITIVE f 


, SFX, AND EDITING 

IND VOICE-OVER RECORDING 

IC AND SCORING 

Z SELECTION AND LICENSING 

IATES 


528 CANAL STREET #4. NEW YORK, NY 10013 ♦ (212) 343-703f | 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 57 



The Outpost 

Edit on our Media 100 system for just $50 
per hour. That includes an operator, various 
tape formats including Beta SP, Macintosh 
and Amiga graphics, and the Video Toaster. 

713 - a 5 9 e - 23SB 



Brooklyn. NY 11211 



THE 




A non-profit media arts organi- 
zation providing access to state- 
of-the-art video post-production 
services for artists and indepen- 
dent producers at drastically 
discounted rates. _— __ 
Standby also publishes FELIX, 
A Journal of Media Arts and 
Communication. 



• Betacam, 1 " or D-2 On-line editing 

• Non-linear editing 

• Audio post-production 

• Mass duplication 

• Standards conversions 

• CDR Burns 

Contact us for other services, 
prices and membership information. 



PO Box 184, New York, NY 10012 
http://www.felixweb.org 
Email: standby@felix.org 
Phone: (212)219-0951 
Fax: (212)219-0563 



Betacam SP 
Editing 

3/4 SP, Hi-8, DV 
Interformat, Transfers 

40/hr, 300/day, 150/night 

Digital Video 

Camera Packages 
150/day 




1123 Broadway, Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

212-228-4254 



JURAS GRAPHICS 

Animations 

You want it to look good and believable. 

We don't just simulate it. We make reality. 

M.S.C.S degree (graphics) // all top pro equip incl. SGI 

Call (847) 265-8811 
On the Web: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~juras 



SEEKING WORKS by ind. filmmakers. 16mm, 
8mm &. video for screening series in downtown 
Manhattan. Send VHS copy to: Leslie Napoles, c/o 
CRC, 7th fl., 435 Hudson St., NY, NY 10014- 

SHORT FILM & VIDEO: All genres, any medium, 
1 min. to 1 hr. Unconventional, signature work in 
VHS or 3/4" for nat'l broadcast. Submit to: Edge TV, 
7805 Sunset Blvd., ste. 203, Los Angeles, CA 90046. 

SHOW YOUR SHORTS, cable access program 
seeks shorts. Airs on Ch. 34 on first Sunday of every 
month at 4:30 pm. Send VHS copies of films no 
longer than 20 min. to: Catherine Delbuono, Box 
987 NY, NY 10011. 

SUPER-8 FILM OPPORTUNITY Send previews 
of short films no more than 20 min. on VHS or super- 
8 prints. Enclose short bio, description, running time, 
filmography & any stills or portraits you have. 
Enclose $5, SASE, and self-addressed stamped post- 
card. Send previews ASAP to: Barbara Rosenthal, 
727 Ave. of Americas, NY, NY 10010-2712; (212) 
924-4893. 

JTYME TOWER ENTERTAINMENT seeks fea- 
ture-length & short films tor Ind. Filmmakers video 
series. 16mm, 35mm, BAV or color. Send 3/4" or 1/2" 
VHS copy to: Tyme Tower Entertainment, c/o Tyme 
Tower Home Video, 810 E. Coliseum Blvd., ste. 107, 
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1234; (219) 481-5807. 

UNQUOTE TV, 1/2 hr nonprofit program dedicat- 
ed to exposing new, innovative film & video artists, 
seeks ind. doc, narrative, experimental, performance 
works under 28 min. Seen on over 40 cable systems 
nationwide. No payment. Submit to: Unquote TV, c/o 
I DUTY 33rd & Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, PA 
[9104; (215) 895-2927. 

IVIDEOSPACE AT DECORDOVA MEDIA 
ARTS ARCHIVE: DeCordova Museum & 
Sculpture Park seeks VHS copies of video art & doc- 
umentation of performance, installation art & new 
genres from New England artists for inclusion in new 
media arts archive. Send for info & guidelines: 
Videospace at DeCordova, DeCordova Museum, 51 
Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773-2600. 

VIDEOSPACE BOSTON seeks creative videos for 
fall & spring programming. Any genre and length. 
Nonprofit/no payment. Send VHS, Hi 8 or 3/4" w/ 
description, name, phone & SASE to: VideoSpace, 
attn: general submissions, 9 Myrtle St, Jamaica Plain, 
MA 02130. 

WORLD OF INSANITY looking for videos & films 
to air on local cable access channel. Any length. One 
hour weekly show w/ videos followed by info on the 
makers. Send VHS or SVHS to: World of Insanity, 
Box 954, Veneta, OR 97487; (541) 935-5538. 

Publications 

ART ON FILM DATABASE index to 19,000 pro- 
ductions, seeks info on films & videos with visual art 
subject matter. Send info to Art on Film, 2875 
Broadway, 2nd fl., NY, NY 10025 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMER- 
ICAN FILM & VIDEO, organized by Int'l Media 
Resources Exchange, seeks works by Latin American 
&. US Latino ind. producers. To send work or tor into: 



58 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1997 



Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 124 Washington Place, NY, 
NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

MEDIA MATTERS, Media Alliance's newsletter, 
provides comprehensive listings of New York area 
events & opportunities for media artists. For a free 
copy, call Media Alliance at (212) 560-2919 or visit 
their web site at http://www.mediaalliance.org. 

MEDLANET: Guide to the Internet for Video and 
Filmmakers. Available free at http://www.infi.net/ 
—rriddle/medianet.htm, or e-mail rriddle@infi.net. 

MILLENNIUM FILM JOURNAL No. 29, Fall '96: 
Video/Video Installation. "Did the Videopak Cause 
Video Art?"; Bill Horn on Gary Hill; Bill Viola's 
"Buried Secrets"; Clay Debevoise on "Video Spaces" 
at MoMa, much more. $6. Published by Millennium 
Film Workshop, 66 E. 4th St, NYC, 10003; (212) 
673-0090. 

NEH ANNUAL REPORT AVAILABLE; National 
Endowment for the Humanities' 30th Annual Report 
is available for free. Contains descriptions of pro- 
grams as well as a complete listing of all Endowment 
grants for FY 1995. Readers may view or download 
report by visiting NEH website: http://www. 
neh.fed.us For a hard copy, write: NEH 1995 Annual 
Report, Room 402, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 
Washington, DC 20506; email: info@neh. fed. us 

SHORT VIDEO MOVIES: To finish our handbook 
on the short video prod, process, we want to include 
your experiences w/ improvised scenarios or scripts, 
nonprofessionals or pros. Let's trade reels. Contact: 
David Shepherd, Group Creativity, 2 Washington Sq. 
Vill. #70, New York, NY 10012; (212) 777-7830. 

THE SQUEALER, quarterly journal w/ upstate NY 
spin on media-related subjects. Once a year, The 
Squealer publishes "State of the State," a comprehen- 
sive resource issue w/ detailed info on upstate media 
arts organizations, access centers, schools & coali- 
tions. Subscriptions $15/year. Contact: Squeaky 
Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201; 
http://freenet.buffalo.edu. —wheel/ 

Resources • Funds 

APERTURE INC., a new 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corp., 
offers grant of $10,000 to first-time filmmaker shoot- 
ing a 5-30 min. film. For info on 1996 Aperture 
Grant, send SASE to: Aperture, 12335 Santa Monica 
Blvd., Suite 174, Los Angeles, CA 90025, or call 
(310) 772-8294. 

BOSTON FILM/VIDEO FOUNDATION seeks 
proposals for fiscal sponsorship from ind. producers. 
No deadline or genre restrictions. Reviewed on 
ongoing basis. Contact BFVF for brochure: Cherie 
Martin, 1 126 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215; (617) 
536-1540; fax: 536-3576; bfvf@aol.com 

CREATIVE PROJECT GRANTS: Subsidized use 
of VHS, interformat & 3/4" editing suite for ind. cre- 
ative projects. Doc, political, propaganda, promotion- 
al & commercial projects are not eligible. 
Editor/instructor avail. Video work may be done in 
combination w/ S-8, Hi8, audio, performance, pho- 
tography, artists, books, etc. Studio includes Amiga, 
special effects, A&E roll, transfers, dubbing, etc. 
Send SASE for guidelines to: The Media Loft, 727 
,6th Ave., NY NY 10010; (212) 924-4893. 




Sound Design / Original Music 



Pro Tools III / Media 100 / AVID 



DIGITAL AUDIO 
- PRODUCTION - 

for Film and Video 
and Multimedia 



Video Capture & Compression / Betacam Video Lockup 



Sound Effects / Voice Over & ADR 



Discount rates for independents 



133 MERCER ST. NYC 10012 • 212.966-6794 • E-mailmercerst@aol.com 



Reflex K-3 16mm 



Available in 



Motorized! 

Crystal Sync Version 




Super 16mm! 

Standard 
Wind-up Version 

jusi $1,319! just $569! 



jte 4 i - 

■I ■' ' ' ■'■I||ii|l 



i "Sophisticated optics, solid 
construction" - New York Times 
"A steal at twice the money" 

- Jack Watson Moviemaker Magazine 




The crystal sync K-3 camera comes All cameras come with a complete set of 
withthestandardsetofaccessories(see accessoriesincluding 17-69mmzoomlens, 
descriptionatright)andl7-69mmlens. pistol grip, shoulderbrace, five glass filters 
The camera will run at 12, 24, 48fps at (ND, UV, Light and Dark Yellow, #2 



Diopter), cable release, case, warranty, 
and more ! The camera utilizes a rotating 
mirrorreflexfinder, andanoperatingrange 
from 8-50fps with single frame. Made of 
solid aluminum construction and coated 
optics.FindoutforyourselfwhytheK-3is 
thanthecostofatraditionalcrystalsync themostpopularcamerainAmerica.Call 
motor alone. Motor made i n US A. today for a free broch ure. 

National I WLmjE? ■"feH ^~j 
Sales Mirir=l-Orv*^* Tel: 305-949-8800 

Agent: LIGHTING & SUPPLY Fax: 305-949-760C 



sync and with the addition of an Aaton 
style speed crystal control all speeds 
between 6 and 60fps are possible. With 
the addition of the sync motor the K-3 is 
the ideal camera for music videos, sec- 
ond unit, or stunt camera work, at less 



MI3A 



i i t i i i i i i i i i i i i i 

iAFFORDABLE VIDEO SOLUTION. 



THIRD 

WAVE 

MEDIA 

INC 



% 



SONY BETA SP A /B EDITING. TRANSFERS. BUMP 
UPS. WINDOW DUBS. CMX ON LINE MASTERING. 
DYNAMIC MOTION CONTROL. DAT. TOASTER 
FX/CG/3D . NEWTEK VIDEO FLYER NON LINEAR 
EDITING. GREAT LOW RATES! 



IKE / SONY BETACAM SP PACKAGE : $275 . 3 CHIP 
HI-8 SONY VX3 : $75. 3 CHIP S-VHS BR-S411U : 
$175 EXPERIENCED EDITOR AVAILABLE . CALL NOW 
FOR DISCOUNT EDITING PRICES : 212-751-7414 



SWEET 
EAST 60'S 
LOCATION 



J _J _J _l _ I 



I I __J_J 



January/February 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



NON LINEAR 
EDITING 




V 



o 



REAL TIME TRANSITIONS 



BROADCAST ONLINE 
3:1 TO 200:1 OFFLINE 



MULTI-LAYERING 



BETACAM SP EDITING 
HI 8 & 3/4SP — 3/4 AB 

ANIMATION & GRAPHICS 

DUPLICATION 

TRANSFERS from HI8 to BETA 



Phone (212) 219-9240 
Fax (212) 966-5618 




Digital Madia Arti 



Media Education Program 

Classes: 

-Java 

—adobe photoshop 

—designing G programming web pages 

-intro to adobe premiere 

— intro £ advanced macromedia director 

mlro to multimedia technology 
Hntro £ advanced adobe after affects 
-editing on the media 100 
—digital audio workstations 
-audio post-production for film £ video 

6 hour workshops over 2-3 weeks. Individual 
tutoring packages available. New Multimedia 
Production Studio rental rates also available. 
Classes limited to 10 students. 

To register or receive a complete class schedule contact: 
HARVESTWORKS 596 Broadway, Suite 602, NYC 10012 
2 12.43 I.I 130x16, http://www.avsi.com/haryestworks. 



Video Duplication 

READY NEXT DAY- Mon-Fri 

3/4" U-matic & 1/2" VHS or Beta II Copies 

FROM 3/4", 1/2" VHS MASTER Add $25.00 per ONE INCH Master 

FROM ONE 20 MINUTES 30 MINUTES 60 MINUTES 1/2" VHS/Beta II 
MASTER 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 90 MIN. 120 MIN. 



One Copy $4.00 $4.00 


$6.00 $5.00 


$9.00 $8.00 


$11.00 


$14.00 


2-4 Copies 3.50 3.00 


5.50 4.50 


8.00 6.00 


8.00 


9.00 


5-9 Copies 3.00 2.50 


4.50 3.50 


7.00 5.00 


7.00 


8.00 


10-19 Copies 2.50 2.00 


4.00 3.00 


6.00 4.50 


6.00 


7.00 


1-4 RUSH Dubs. $8.00 


$1 1.00 


$17.00 


$22.00 


$28.00 


TC Burn In $10.00 


$14.00 


$26.00 


Inquire for LABELING 


Window Dubs 5.00 


7.00 


13.00 


& SHRINK WRAP 



PRICES ARE PER COPY- STOCK NOT INCLUDED. ASSEMBLY CHARGES ARE ADDITIONAL. 



EQUIPMENT: 3/4" Sony, 1/2" Panasonic 2 ch. industrial recorders and Grass 
Valley & Videotek distributors. Time base correction, optional, with Microtime 
and Tektronix equipment. TITLING & EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE 

3/4" & 1/2" EDITING Evenings & 24 Hour Access 
With and Without an Editor Instructions Available 
CHYRON TITLER AVAILABLE 
ONE LIGHT FILM TO TAPE TRANSFERS 
FILM STOCK. VIDEO TAPE, AUDIO TAPE. LEADER & SUPPLIES 

(212)475-7884 

814 BROADWAY 
NEW YORK, NY 10003 




Zl2.B43.0840 



Or Toll Free: 
1.888. POST 391 

No 200 Varick St N.Y. C. 100H 



AviJIHIRE 

Online\Offline Suites - Post Production Support 
Digital Betacam - Film Conform - Editorial 



ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL (IAC) SPECIAL 
ASSISTANCE ARTS PROGRAM: Matching 
grants of up to $1,500 avail, to IL artists for specific 
projects. Activities that may be funded: registration 
fees & travel to attend conferences, seminars, or 
workshops; consultant fees for resolution of specific 
artistic problems; exhibits, performances, publica- 
tions, screenings; materials, supplies, or services. 
Funds awarded based on quality of work submitted 
& impact of proposed project on artist's profession- 
al development. Appls must be received at least 8 
wks prior to project starting date. Degree students 
not eligible. (312) 814-6750. 

I MEDIA ALLIANCE assists NYC artists & non- 
profit organizations in using state-of-art equipment, 
postprod. & prod, facilities at reduced rates. 
Contact: Media Alliance, c/o WNET, 356 W. 58th 

| St., NY, NY 10019; (212) 560-2919. 

I OPEN STUDIO: THE ARTS ONLINE, new 

$500,000 joint initiative of the NEA and Benton 
Foundation, offers funds to help artists and art orga- 
nizations get online. Funds available for 100 Access 
Sites — where the public is given Internet access — 
and 10 Mentor Sites — which will receive $35,000 
each to serve as mentors to 10 local cultural organi- 
I zations and 10 local artists, teaching them how to 
I become effective info provides on the Web. 
Deadline: Jan 15. Contact: Anne Green, Project 
Coord. (202) 638-5770; fax: 638-5771; http://www. 
| open studio.org. 

PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICA- 
TIONS provides grants for development of nat'l 
public TV broadcast programming by & about 



indigenous Pacific Islanders. For appl: PIC, 1221 
Kapiolani Blvd., #6A-4, Honolulu, HI 96814; (808) 
591-1114; piccom@ elele.peacesat. hawaii.edu. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable merit & 
financial need working as mixed-media or installation 
artists. Grants awarded throughout yr: $1,000- 
$30,000. For guidelines, write: Pollock-Krasner 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

SOROS DOCUMENTARY FUND supports ind. 
doc. film & video on human rights, freedom of 
expression, social justice & civil liberties. 2 levels 
considered: works-in-progress & preproduction seed 
money. Grant awards for recommended works-in- 
progress range up to $50,000, w/ average of $25,000. 
Awards for seed funds range from $10,000 to 
$15,000. Send proposals to: Diane Weyermann, 
Open Society, 888 7th Ave., #3100, NY, NY 10106. 

STANDBY PROGRAM provides artists & nonprof- 
its access to broadcast quality video postprod. ser- 
vices at reduced rates. For guidelines & appl. contact: 
Standby Program, Box 184, NY, NY 10012-0004; 
(212) 219-0951; fax: 219-0563. 

TEACHERS MEDIA CENTER dedicated to edu- 
cators interested in video technology as learning tool 
in the classroom. Latest project is setting up nat'l & 
int'l video pen pal exchanges; would like to hear from 
interested schools, individuals, or organizations. Also 
interested in creating nat'l network of educators 
interested in any or all aspects of growing multimedia 
& media literacy movements in education. Contact: 
Teachers Media Center, 158 Beach 122nd St., 



Rockaway Beach, NY 11694; (718) 634-3823. 

VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP MEDIA CEN- 
TER in Rochester, NY, accepts proposals on ongoing 
basis for its Media Access program. Artists, ind. pro- 
ducers & nonprofits awarded access at reduced rates, 
prod. & postprod. equipment for work on noncom- 
mercial projects. For appl., tour, or more info, call 
(716) 442-8676. 



he i independent 

ft 



r 



r, 1 



111 montnly 



Needs Your Support 

Budget cuts sometimes force 

libraries to drop periodicals. Small 

publications like The Independent 

really feel the pinch. 

If your university or public library 

doesn't receive The Independent, 

help us increase public access to 

the magazine by sending your 

librarian a note requesting The 

Independent. Personal requests 

go a long way toward earning us a 

spot on your library's shelves. 



UPTOWN AVID 

AVID 8000 *- AVID 1000 $- AVID 400 

Beautiful Rooms - Low Rates 

Pro Tools - 4 Channel Input/Output 

dhree Convenient (locations 



Broall 
i*Street' ^itlWSy 



■, 




■ SKvSSSs>-B,KS™*fiKH«< ; 



NOW WITH AVR 75 



AVID Prices Killing You? Call Code 16: (212) 496-1118 




International Insurance Brokers Inc. 

Formerly Coulter & Sands Inc. 



Discounted Liability- 
Insurance 
for AIVF Members 



Contact: Debra Kozee 

Suite 500 • 20 Vesey Street 

New York, NY 10007-2966 

. ' Tel: 800-257-0883 

212-406-4499 

Fox; 212-406-7588, 

F^mail: stdff@csins.com 

http://www.csins.corri 



January/February 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 61 




Digital Media Arts 



Studio Pass 

digital audio & video 

—16 - track lock to betacam sp & 3/4 

-media 100 

— cd rom mastering 

-composer referral 

-three suite production facility 

—rates as low as ?40 with engineer 

HARVESTWORKS 

212.431.1130 xlO 

596 Broadway, Suite 602, NYC 10012 

http://www.avsi.com/harvestworks 




NYSCA 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film, the educational affiliate of the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers, supports a variety of programs and services for the independent media 
community, including publication of The Independent, workshops, and an information clearinghouse. None 
of this work would be possible without the generous support of the AJVF membership and the following 
organizations: 

Center for Arts Criticism, Heathcote Art Foundation, Albert A. List Foundation, John D. and 
Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department 
of Cultural Affairs, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Rockefeller 
Foundation, and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Benefactors: Patrons: Sponsors: 

Irwin W Young Pamela Calvert, Mary D. Dorman, Ralph Arlyck, C & S, Inc., Loni Ding; 

Karen Freedman, Forest Creatures David W. Haas, Dr. V Hufnagel/Woman's Cable Network, 
Entertainment®; Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Jim McKay; Leonard Merrill Kuir Co., Robb Moss; Jodi 
Robert L Seigel Esq., James Schamus, PiekofF, Julio Riberio, J.B. Sass/Letting Go Foundation, 
Roger E. Weisberg George C. Stoney, Debra Zimmerman 

Business/Industry Members: 

Acordia Hogg Robinson, NYC; Alluvial Entertainment. W Hollywood, CA; Asset Pictures, NYC; Avid 
Technology, Tewksbury, MA; Berkano Prod., New Orleans, LA; Bjorqvist Films, Brooklyn, NY; Bread 6k Roses, NYC; 
C.A Productions, NYC; Caribbean Soul Entertainment, Brooklyn, NY; Chiban Records, NYC; Color Lab, Rockville, 
MD; Cospe Prod., Paris, FR Dasistas Creative Group, Madison, WI; Ericson Media Inc., NYC; FPG Int'l, NYC; Fallon, 
McElligott, Minneapolis, MN; Foxo Prod., Inc., NYC; Fuller Prod., NYC; Guardian Prod., Nashville, TN; 
Greenwood/Cooper Home Video, Los Angeles, CA; IBW Production, London, UK; Irivne Pictures, NYC; JCV Prod, 
NYC; Kingdom Country Prod., Bamet, VT KJM3 Entertainment Group, NYC; Light Hash Pictures, NYC; Lonsdale 
Prod., Glendale, CA; Media Consultants, Inc., Raleigh, NC; Merioige Prod, W Chester PA; Mikco, NYC; Nocturnal 
Films, NYC; Open City Films, NYC; Real Life Entertainment Inc., LA, CA; Barbara Roberts, NYC; Sandbank Films, 
Hawthorne, NY; Somford Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA; Sub Pop East, Dorchester, MA; TV 17, Madison, AL; 
Washington Square Films, NY, NY; Westend Films, NY, NY; White Night Prod., San Diego, CA. 

Nonprofit Members 

ACS Network Prod., Washington, DC; AVD Hans Strom Biblwteket, Volda, Norway; AVFN Intl, Anchorage, AK; 
Access, Houston, "FX; American Civil Liberties Union, NY, NY; Amherst College, Amherst, MA; Ann Arbor Community 
Access TV Ann Arbor, MI; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Ml; Appalshop, Whitesburg, KY; John Armstrong, Brooklyn, 
NY; Art Inst. Dallas, Dallas, TX; Art Matters Inc., NY, NY; Tie Asia Stxiiere NY, NY; Assemblage, NY, NY; Athens Center for 
Film & Video, Athens, OH; Austin Film Society, Austin, TX; BANH Ctr. Library, Banff, Alberta; Bennington College, 
Bennington, VT Benton Fdn., Washington, DC; CNC, Washington, DC; Carnegie Inst., Pittsburgh, PA; Carved Image Prod., 
NY, NY; Center for Investigative Reporting, San Francisco, CA; Center for New American Media, NY, NY; Chicago Video 
Project, Chicago, IL; Cleveland Inst, of Art, Cleveland, OH; G>lelli Prod., Columbus, OH; Ovlumbia College, Chicago, IL; 
Gilumbia University- Grad. School of Joum., NY.NY; Gmimand Communications, Rye Baiok, NY; Communication Arts- 
MHCC, Greshamy, OR; Gimmunirv Television Netw. irk, Chicago, IL, Gxiper Union Library, NY, NY; Copiague Memorial 
Library, Gipiague, NY; Denver Film Society. Denver, CO; Duke Univ., Durham, NC; Eclipse Commun., Springfield, MA; 
Educational Video Center, NY, NY; Edwards Films, Eagle Bridge, NY'; Empowerment Project Kasper & Trent, Chapel Hill, NC; 
Evergreen St. Gillege, Olympia, WA; Exinnis Co., Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fallout Shelter Prod., Mansfield, OH; The Film Crew, 
Woodland Hills, CA; Fox Chapel High School, Pittsburgh, PA; Great Lake. Film & Video, Milwaukee, WI; ITVS, St, Paul, 
MN; Image Film Video Ctr, Atlanta, GA; Intt Cultural Prgm, NT, NY; Int'l Film Seminars, NY, NY; Jewish Film Fest., Berkeley, 
CA; Komplex Studio Merdeka, Selangor, Malaysia; Long Bow Group Inc., Brookline, MA; Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network, NY, NY; Maurits Binger Film Inst., NL; Media .Arts, Palatine, IL; Media Resource Ctr, Adelaide, AUS; Mesilla Valley 
Film Society, Mesilla, NM; Milestone Entertainment, Irving, TX; Miranda Smith Prod., Boulder, CO; Missoula Community 
Access, Missoula ME NAMAC, Oakland, CA; NR.\D1?H, NY, NY; NT Inst, of Technology, Old Westbury, NY; Nat. Ctr tor 
Film 6k Video Preservation, Lis Angeles, CA; Nat, Lirino Comnumitv Ctr KCET Los Angeles, CA; Nat. Video Resources, 
NY, NY; Neighborhood Film/Video Project, Philadelphia, PA: Neon. Inc., NY, NY; New Image Prod., Las Vegas, NV; New 
Liberty Prod., 91 1 Media Am Ctr, Seattle! WA; Philadelphia, PA; Ohio Univ., Athens, OH; One Eighty One Prod., NY, NY; 
Outside in July, NY, NY; Pennsylvania State Univ., Univ. Tark, PA; Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; Post Modem Prod., 
Elsah, IL; Pratt Inst., NY, NY; Promontory Point Films. Albany NY; Public Benefit Girp., Detroit, MI; Rainy States Film Fest,, 
Seattle, WA; Medina Rich, NY, NY; Ringling School of .Art 6k Design, Sarasota, FL; Paul Robeson Fund Funding Exchange, 
NY, NY; Rochester Inst, of Tech., Rochester, NY; Ross Film Tieater. Lincoln, NE; Ross-Gafhey, NY, NY; San Francisco .Art 
Inst., San Francisco, CA; San Francisco Museum o( \ lodem .Art, San Francisco, CA; School of the Art Inst., Chicago, IL; Jill 
Spettigue, Kingston, Ontario; SW. AMP, Houston, TX; Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY; Strato Films, Hollywood, CA; Sundance 
Inst., Los Angeles, CA; SUNY, Buffafo-Depc. Media Studies, Buffalo, NT; Tel- Aviv Univ., Tel-Aviv, Israel; Terrace Films, 
Brooklyn, NY; Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Ontario; Tucson Community Gible &>rp., Tucson, AZ; UMAB/School of Social 
Work Media Ctr, Baltimore, MDUniv. of Arizona, Tucson. AZ; Univ. of California, Davis, Davis, CA; Univ. of Nebraska, 
Lincoln, NE; Univ. of Southern Florida, Tampa, FL; Univ of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, VT; VIEW Video, NY, NY; Valdosta St. 
Univ., Valdosta, GA; Vancouver Film School, Vancouver, BC; Veritas Int'l, Elsah, IL; Video Data Bank, Chicago, IL; Video 
Pool, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Video Video Ltd., NY, NY; Vox Prod., San Francisco, CA; WNET NY, NY; Women Make Movies, 
NY, NY; Worldfest, Houston, TX; York Univ. Libraries, North York, Ontario. 



ALL NEW EDITIONS 

of 3 Great Resource Books From AIVF/FIVF 



ORDER TODAY - 



SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED! 



In making Picture 
Bride we turned many 
times to AIVF/FIVF 
publications (or the 
facts on fundraising, 
production and distri- 
bution. Their books 
are up-to-date, well 
organized and accessi- 
ble. Best of all, it's 
getting the 41 1 with- 
out the schmooze. 
Kayo Hafta - 
"Picture Bride" < 



When people ask me 
how and what festi- 
vals to enter, I simply 
refer them to 
AlVF/FIVF's Guide. 
Not only is it the 
most comprehensive 
and up to date listing 
I've seen but the 
indexes slice and dice 
the festivals into 
every conceivable cat- 
egory. It's absolutely 
indispensable for 
independent 
producers. 
Frederick Marx - 
"Hoop Dreams" Aft 



AIVF GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVALS 

By Kathryn Bowser $34.95/$29.9S members 

plus shipping and handling. 

The 4th edition of FIVF's best seller is a completely indexed and easy-to- 
read compendium of over 400 international film and video festivals, 
with contact information, entry regulations, deadlines, categories, 
accepted formats, and much more. The Festival Guide includes infor- 
mation on all types of festivals: small and large, specialized and 
general, domestic and foreign. 



AIVF GUIDE TO FILM & VIDEO DISTRIBUTORS 

Edited by Kathryn Bowser $24.9S/$19.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

A must-read for film and video makers searching for the right distributor. The 
Distributors Guide presents handy profiles of nearly 200 commercial and nonprofit 
distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work han- 
dled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, this is the best compendium of distribution 
information especially tailored for independent producers available. 



THE NEXT STEP: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS 
AND VIDEOS 

Edited by Morrie Warshawski $24.95/$19.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

Top professionals in the field answer frequently asked questions on distribution. 
Learn more about finding a distributor from Debra Zimmerman ( Women Make 
Movies), self- distribution from Joe Berlinger (producer/director of Brother's 
Keeper), foreign distribution from Nancy Walzog (Tapestry International) and 
theatrical distribution from David Rosen (author of Off Hollywood). Plus find out 
about promotion; public broadcasting, cable and home video markets; non- 
theatrical distribution; contracts and much, much more. 



SAVE OVER 2 5% 

ORDER ALL THREE BOOKS & PAY ONLY $59.95 

Plus shipping and handling. 



CALL NOW (212) 807-1400x235 

Fax:(212)463-8519 

Or write: FIVF, 304 Hudson Street, 6th fl, New York, NY 10013 

Shipping and handling: Domestic-$3.50 for the first, $1.00 for each additional book. 

Foriegn-S5.00 for the first book, $1.50 for each additional book. 

VISA and MC Accepted. 



m 



^HRYH 



°*SER 




FIVF 



FOUNDATION 

FOR INDEPiNMNT 
VIDEO AND Film 




mi 

by Leslie F i e if d s 




WINTER EVENTS 

MEET AND GREETS 

These are opportunities for members to meet pro- 
ducers, distributors, flinders, programmers, and oth- 
ers to exchange information in an informal atmos- 
phere at the AIVF office. Free; open to AIVF mem- 
bers only. Limited to 20 participants. RSVP required: 
(212) 807-1400 x301. Please leave your name, 
phone number, and the event for which you're mak- 
ing a reservation. 

VIDEO PRESERVATION 

Join Jay Lindner, President of VidiPax, and Dam 
Meyers-Kingsky, freelance curator and programmer, 
as they discuss the proper care and storage of video 
tape and the importance of preserving one of the 
20th century's most valuable recorders of history. 
Tuesday, February 11, 6:30 pm 

SANDE ZEIG 

President, Artistic License Films 

Artistic License Films provides independent film- 
makers, producers, and distribution companies with 
individualized services to ensure the successful the- 
atrical release of a film. 
Tuesday, March 18, 6:30 pm 

SEMINARS 

Creating Digital Video 

Get all the information you need to help you evalu- 
ate if digital video is right for you. Attend a free 
demonstration of the Media 100 digital editing sys- 
tem. This event is co-sponsored by AIVF, F/VA and 
Moviola Digital. To reserve a space call (212) 247- 
0972 or (212) 807-1400 x301. Limited seating. 
When: January 28, time: tba 
Where: F/VA, 817 Broadway, 2nd fl. 

Using Non-Broadcast Video 
in a Broadcast Context 
This seminar will address independent producers 
concerns of meeting television broadcast standards: 
the stringency of PBS specifications, inconsistencies 
with non-linear edit systems and equipment prob- 
lems. Panelists include former Standby Program edi- 
tor, Marslxall Reese and Bill Topazio, Vice President of 
Engineering at Manhattan Transfer. The event is co- 
sponsored by AIVF and the Standby Program and is 
free of clxarge. For more information contact: Maria 
Venuta (212) 2 19-0951. To RSVP call (212) 807-1400x301. 
When: March 12,7:00 pm 
Wltere: AIVF office 



TRADE DISCOUNT UPDATE 

C&S International Insurance Brokers, Inc. 

Coulter & Sands Insurance Brokers are now C&S 
International Insurance Brokers, Inc. Their new 
address and telephone are: 20 Vesey Street, Suite 
500, New York, NY 10007; (212) 406-4499; fax: 
406-7588; staffiacsins.com; http://www.csms. com. 

TEIGIT CALIFORNIA OPEN ENROLLMENT 

TEIGIT is required by California Insurance Depart- 
ment regulations to offer a 30-day open enrollment 
period once each year for the CIGNA Health plans 
to all California members of TEIGIT associations. 
During the open enrollment period any California- 
resident member who applies will be automatically 
accepted, regardless of medical history, provided that 
the applicant was an AIVF member in good standing 
prior to the start of the open enrollment period. 
Open Enrollment starts Jan. 1 , 1 997 and ends Jan. 30, 
1997. For details, contact TEIGIT at (212) 758- 
5675; (800) 886-7504; fax: (212) 888-4916; or write 
TEIGIT at 845 Third Avenue, NY, NY 10022. 

WALTERRY INSURANCE PROGRAM 
CANCELLED 

Walterry Insurance Brokers will no longer offer dis- 
count public liability, equipment coverage, or libel 
insurance plans. Please note that projects currently 
insured by one or all three plans U'ill not be affected. 
AIVF regrets the loss of this special discount to our 
members and we are actively seeking a comparable 
replacement. We will keep you posted. 

Washington, DC-based Yellow Cat Productions 
offers AIVF members 15% off a full day video shoot 
with a 2 -person crew and 15% off any Avid editing in 
their charming townhouse on Capitol Hill. Contact: 
Mary Flannery (202) 543-2221, fax: 543-2287. 

If you want to offer AIVF members discounts on 
any product or service, please contact Leslie Fields at 
(212) 807-1400x222. 

Not Receiving Your Independent. 7 

It you have any problems receiving The Independent 
or questions regarding your AIVF membership, 
please call Oscar Cervera at (212) 807-1400 x236 or 
Leslie Fields x222, Monday - Friday, 10 am to 6 pm 
EST. They will be happy to assist to you. 

MONTHLY MEMBER SALONS 

This is an opportunity for members to discuss work, 
meet other independents, share war stories, and con- 
nect with the AIVF community across the country. 
Note: Since our copy deadline is two months in 
advance, be sure to call the local organizers to con- 
firm that there have been no last-minute changes. 

Albany, NY: 

When: 1st Wednesday ot each month, 6 p.m 
Where: Borders Books & Music, Wolf Rd. 
Contact: MikeCamoin, (518) 895-5269 

Austin, TX: 

When: Last Monday of the month, 8 p.m. 
Where: Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie Street 
Contact: Ben Davis, (512) 708-1962 

Boston, MA: 

Call tor dates and locations. 



Contact: Susan Walsh, (617) 965-8477 

Brooklyn, NY: 

When: 4th Tuesday of each month; call for time 
Where: Ozzie's, 7th Ave. & Lincoln PL 
Contact: Glenn Francis Frontera, (718) 646-7533 

Dallas, TX: 

When: 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7 pm. 

Where: Call for locations. 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 823-8909 

Denver, CO 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Diane Markrow, (303) 449-7125 

Houston, TX: 

Wlxen: Last Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m. 

Wliere: Call for locations. 

Contact: David Mendel, (713) 529-4185 

Kansas City, MO: 

When: Second Thursday of each month, 7:30 pm. 
Where: Grand Arts, 1819 Grand Blvd. 
Contact: Rossana Jeran, (816) 363-2249 

Norwalk, CT: 

Call tor dates and locations. 

Contact: Guy Perrotta, (203) 831-8205 

San Diego, CA: 

Call tor dates and locations. 
Contact:: Carroll Blue, (619) 594-6591 

St. Louis, MO: 

When: Third Thursday of each month, 7 p.m. 
Where: Midtown Arts, 3207 Washington St. 
Contact: Tom Booth, (314) 776-6270 

Tucson, AZ: 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Beverly Seckinger, (520) 621-1239 

Washington, DC: 

Call for dates and times. 

Where: Herb's Restaurant, 1615 Rhode Island 

Ave., NW 

Contact: DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 x4. 



Join the 
AIVF- sponsored 



PItO (BEAM 






Ifstelp Corp, 

1 = B DO- 645=- 8555 
:i S3J-333-5SD1 




64 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 1 997 



FTVF wishes to thank all those 

who participated in our 1996 

How to... Summer Workshop Series 



Kathryn Rome* 

XPK3 
jfeanne Browne 

Zori Castwnuow 

Amoc. 'Pwducot- Tifm^mf o£ *34 

ha Veuichman 
flndrew Miifwilz 
garnet Schamus 

(foad Tflacfctte 

Qodi Viekoff 



Anthony Bregman 

(food 7Hac6i«te 

itten Bruno 

*)ttdefie*tde«t£ *?ii£mmei6efr 

(fay Craven 

^udefiendettt Ptoducenl'Dinecto'i 

nancy (jentman 

^eityetet "?i£m4>, &d. 

Mark ttlauceri 
Mary pane Skatski 

(food 7Hacfa«te 

(Home Wonhamki 
Detra Zimmerman 

7&owtm 7fta6e JKouie& 



for more information about 

FWFs 1997 How to.,. Summer Series 

in upcoming issues of 

The Independent 



FIVF 
I 

FOUNDATION 
FOR INDEPENDENT 
VIDEO AND FILM 



Media 100. 

Approaching 1 0,000 Systems 

Online Worldwide. 



NEARLY 10,000 
SYSTEMS ONLINE 
IN 50 COUNTRIES 

VINCENT601. 
NEW CCIR-601 
COMPONENT VIDEO 
ENGINE 

THEO". NEW MULTI- 
STREAM EFFECTS 
SUPERPROCESSOR 

GAUDI . NEW 3D 
WARPING & EFFECTS 
ENGINE 

MEDIA COMPOSER 
EDL COMPATIBLE 



■ 



(&i 



www.medial OO.com 



Nearly 10,000 Media 100' online systems are used by producers everywhere. And now, 
we present Media 100 xs. It's brand new. And it gives you the new real-time features you 
need. Popular transitions - all in real time. Uncompressed graphics - fast as you are. Text 
and alpha channel keying. Single-track audio crossfades - and a whole lot more! All real 
time. All Media 100 quality - with 4:2:2 digital component quality throughout. 

If you don't already own a Media 100 system, you'll want to see Media 100 xs. It's powerful. 
It's affordable. And it's here now. 



Stay Current. 
Attend a Free 
Media 100 
Seminar. 



All Systems Compatible & Upgradeable 



Model 



MSRP 



Media 100 xs 



$24,995 



Media 100/Whole Deal 



$22,990 



Media 100/Suite Deal 



$14,990 



Our seminars (ill up fast. Please register as soon as possible. 


For a real opportunity to learn more, attend one 


of our free Media 100 seminars. They're the ideal start- 


ing point for anyone buying a nonlinear system 


- or if you simply want to 


stay current. 


Location Date 


Location 


Date 


Atlanta, GA January 21 


Miami, FL 


January 23 


Boston, MA January 16 


Minneapolis, MN 


January 21 


Chicago, IL January 22 


NYC, NY 


January 23 


Cincinnati, OH January 21 


San Francisco, CA 


January 22 


Houston, TX January 21 


Seattle, WA 


January 23 


Los Angeles, CA January 21 







Call to check us out. 

(800)832-8188 



51996 Data Translation, Inc.. All rights 



All other products and brands are tr; 



■* 



the I 




.J ■ MARCH 1997 ML — 

indeDendent 



$3.95 us 
$5.25 can 











ii 



GREG MOTTOLA'S • 
SUBURBAN ROAD MOVI 

THE PRODUCER'S! 
JOB & HOW TO GE 

INDIES oiiXABLT 



r // 



m 




[i 






mm 



used to be a headache. Now one call to Archive gels you 

a healthy choice of 14,000 hours of stack footage and 20,000,000 sfills. 

Tell us whal you need - we'll roll up our sleeves, poke around and find if. 

Cataloged, copyrighf-cleared, and ready for you to use. Wifh fhousands of images 

already available in digital formaf. Uusf whaf fhe doctor ordered, righf?) 



,>**£> 



>. s ■ 




»• 



• 







I 




for a free brochure and sJtKp^i feel. 
And check out our on-line databases 
on Fooiage.net and on CompuServe. ■ 




Your One Call To History: 

800-876-5115 



53D W. 25th Street, New York, NY 100Q1 Tel. (212) 620-3955 Fax (212) 645-2137 



Put the Film Transfer SUPERstars 

To Work For You. 



SUPER 

35mm 



SUPER 

16mm 



SUPER 



Count on our award-winning talent for SUPER TRANSFERS IN PAL + IMTSC. 

Truly state-of-the-art work. On-time, on-target and within your budget. 

L Our SUPER transfers with DIGITAL RANK 4:2:2 take your project smoothly from one 
medium to another. From 35 MM ,16 MM, tape to tape, and slides — to D-l, 
/ D-2, D-3, Digital Beta, Beta SP, 1" and 3/4". 

L Call 212.243.4900 today for SUPER quotes 
L (We'll gladly shoot a list of all our other capabilities to you too.] 



P R I M Ell ME 



1 5 West 20th St • New York. NY 1 001 1 ■ Tel 21 2.243.4900 ■ Fax 21 2.675.0435 



e independent , 





montHy 



March 1 997 

VOLUME 20, NUMBER 2 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 
Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Dana Harris 

Editorial Assistant: Ryan Deussing 

Contributing Editors: Kathryn Bowser, Luke Hones, 

Barbara Bliss Osborn, Roberto Quezada-Dardon, 

Robert L. Seigel, Esq. 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 807-1400 x225 

National Distribution: Total Circulation (Manhattan) 

(201) 342-6334; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal Services 

Send address changes to: The Independent Film & 

Video Monthly, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013. 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of video and film. 
Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; $25/yr 
student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit organization; 
$150/yr business/industry) is included in annual mem- 
bership dues paid to the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national trade associ- 
ation of individuals involved in independent film and 
video, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013, (212) SOT- 
MOO; fax: (212) 463-8519; aivffivf@aol.com; http:// 
www.aivf.org 

Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at addi- 
tional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address 
changes to The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 304 
Hudson St., 6th fl., NY, NY 10013. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment 
for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's pre- 
vious appearance in The Independent. The Independent 
is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 1997 

AIVF/FIVF staff: Ruby Lerner, executive director; Brent 
Renaud, membership associate; Leslie Fields, member- 
ship coordinator; LaTrice Dixon, Membership/Advocacy 
Assistant; Jodi Magee, development consultant; Johnny 
McNair, information services coordinator; Leslie Singer, 
director of administration. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Carroll Parrott Blue, Todd 

Cohen*, Loni Ding, Barbara Hammer, Ruby Lerner (ex 

officio), Peter Lewnes, Cynthia Lopez, Jim McKay, Diane 

Markrow, Laala Matias*, Robb Moss, Robert Richter, 

James Schamus*, Norman Wang*, Barton Weiss, Susan 

Wittenberg. 

* FIVF Board of Directors only 



COVER: (L-R) Liev Schreiber, Anne Meara, Hope Davis, 
Pat McNamara, and Parker Posey, cast of The Daytrippers, 
a festival favorite now in theaters. The saga of its development, 
production, and distribution is a classic tale of the little engine 
that could. Photo: Graham Haber 



Features 



32 The Cat with Nine Lives: Greg Mottola and The Daytrippers 

by Patricia Thomson 

An in-depth look at Mottola's cheap but clever comedy, executive produced by sex, lies 
videotape s Steven Soderbergh and Nancy Tenenbaum. 




38 Follow the Money: 

The Producer's Job and Why Anyone Would Want It 

BY LlSSA GIBBS 

Everyone wants to be a director. So why do some choose the unsung role of producer? Lissa 
Gibbs talks to a half-dozen successful indie producers about how they got started and why. 




2 THE INDEPENDENT March 1997 




7 Letters 
9 Media News 

ITVS Eyes Distribution 

by Pat Aufderheide 

New England's Mixed Signals Goes Off the Air 

by George Fifield 

Seattle's Wiggly World Takes on 
Nonprofit Exhibtion 

by Noelia Santos 



15 Talking Heads 

The Sichel Sisters: All Over Me 

by Eliza berry 



Rob Nilsson: Chalk 



by Michael Fox 



Michael Benson: Predictions of Fire 



by Ryan Deussing 



21 Field Reports 

More Than a Pretty Face? 



I Love Paris When it Sizzles 



The word from the Rencontres 

Internationale de Cinema a Paris. BY Wanda Bershen 



Out of Hibernation 

Argentina's Mar del Plata Film Festival 

returns after a 26-year hiatus. BY Howard Feinstein 




44 Cable Beat 



Three's a Charm 

Raw Footage, Split Screen, and Edgewise 

widen the visibility of independent film on cable. 

by Mitch Albert 



Command Performance 

Ovation is cable's newest arts network. 
by Ryan Deussing 



50 In and Out of Producton 

by Ryan Deussing 



The Hamptons Film Festival weighs regional 
charm vs. industry clout. BY DANA Harris 




March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



LOS ANGELES 
INDEPENDENT 
FILM FESTIVAL 

Over 63 Films (Features, Shorts, Documentaries) 
Opening and Closing Night Galas 
Special "Actors Direct" Shorts Program 
2nd Annual "Indte Supporter" Award 
Indie Music Jam 
Soundstage Parties 
New Media/New Technologies Forum 
Audience Awards 
Industry Seminars and MORE 




films are DISCOVERED 

careers are MADE 
a community is BU1L1 




APRIL 3 -7, 1997 



Declaration of Independents. 

Passes and tickets will be available beginning March 3rd through Theatix, (213) 466-1767. 

Festival Discounts at the following participating hotels: Sunset Marquis Hotel Le Reve Hotel, Le Montrose Suite Hotel, Wyndham Bel Age 
Hotel, TheArgyle, Summer-field Suites Hotel, Ramada West Hollywood, Le Pare Hotel and the Hyatt on Sunset. Call (213) 937-9137 for info. 



PRESENTING SUPIClanCe FOUNDING 

SPONSOR SPONSORS 



RALEIGH 
STUDIOS 



PLATINUM 

MEDIA 

SPONSORS 



The Los Angeles Independent Film Festival is presented by Sundance Channel and Filmmakers Foundation. 



Announcing. . . 

The First Annual IDA Award 
for The Best Use of News Footage in a 

Documentary 

Presented by ABCNEWS VideoSource 



For more than thirteen years, the 
International Documentary Association has 
dedicated itself to excellence in documentary 
film production. Its 1,500 
members include writers, 
cinematographers, 
producers and represent- 
atives of every branch of 
the filmmaking art. 

Each year, at its 
annual awards ceremony 
in Los Angeles, the IDA 




celebrates the best in documentary filmmaking 
with the presentation of prizes in varying 
categories, including, for the first time, an 

award for the best use 
of news stock footage 
in a documentary. 
This newest honor is 
sponsored by ABCNEWS 
VideoSource, the most 
comprehensive news 
and stock footage 
resource in the world. 



For the fastest, easiest way to find the exact footage you want, come to the source , 



Call for Entries: The award, plus a $2,000 honorarium, will be presented in Los Angeles on October 31, 
1997. The competition is open to documentary films and videotapes using news footage which were 
completed, or having primary release or telecast, between January 1, 1996 and April 30, 1997. The deadline 
for submissions is May 31, 1997. 

For complete Entry Guidelines, an Entry Form or further information, please contact IDA Awards, 1551 S. 
Robertson Blvd. Suite 201, Los Angeles, CA 90035-4257. Phone: (310) 284-8422. Fax. (310) 785-9334. 



©ABCNEWS 

VideoSource, 



125 West End Avenue at 66th Street, New York, NY 10023 
800 • 789 • 1250 • FAX 212 • 456 • 5428 • www.abcnewsvsource.com 

The Tape & Film Collections of ABC News, Worldwide Television News and British Movietone News all in one place! 



©19# 




11 WEEHAWKEN STREET 

GREENWICH VILLAGE. NY 10014 

TELEPHONE (212) 691-1038 

FAX (212) 242- 4911 







OST PRODUCT ION SOLUTION 



4UDI0 



5 DIGITAL AUDIO 
SUITES w/Protools™ 

16 TRACK DIGITAL, 

24 TRACK ANALOG 

HARRISON CONSOLE, 

DIGITAL AUDIO 

WORKSTATION, 

RECORDING STUDIO, 

LIVE ROOM, w/ ISO 

BOOTH 

12 AND 16 TRACK 
Protools™ DIGITAL 
JDIO WORKSTATION! 
w/ ISO BOOTHS 

ULL SOUND DESIGN, 
IIXING, ADR, FOLEY 

EXTENSIVE SOUND 
LIBRARIES 

DATA BACKUP AND 
STORAGE 

AWARD WINNING 
EDITORS 



VISUAL 



2 AVID™ EDITING 
SUITES 



ON-LINE AVID™ 
MC 1000 SUITE 
w/ 3D MODULE 

OFF-LINE AVID™ 
MC 800 SUITE 

9-27 GB STORAGE 
AVAILABLE 

3D GRAPHICS 

STRATA™ STUDIO 

PRO TITLE 

GENERATOR 

BETA SP or SONY™ 
9850 3/4" VTR w/TC 

EDITORS 
AVAILABLE 



COSTO/W 
PACKAGES 





ISDN REMOTE SITE I TRANSMISSION 



EPHONEj 
2)691-103^ 

FAX 

2)242-4911 



I NT£GRAT£D 
S6RV IC£S 





Letters 

Ken Burns' Vision of 
Peter Hutton 

To the editor: 

I read with interest Scott MacDonald's inter- 
view with Peter Hutton ["A Moment of Seeing: 
The Private Vision of Peter Hutton," December 
1996] . Hutton is one of our great national trea- 
sures; an utterly American, exquisitely gifted 
artist who reminds us in nearly every frame of 
every film what the real possibilities of the 
medium are. He has been a powerful influence 
on me and dozens of others. I can still remem- 
ber the sublime first moment of recognition 
that came with seeing the opening silent images 
of his July '71 in San Francisco film. I would flat- 
ter myself if I came as close to the central ideas 
of film in 25 years of producing as Peter did 
with those first few images. He is a master and 
hardly the "old relic" he claims I see him as. In 
fact, he is far, far out ahead of the rest of us and 
at the same time reassuringly rooted in the very 
creation of cinema. 

One complaint. MacDonald, in his opening 
paragraph, describes me as a "commercial film- 
maker." My films have on occasion been popu- 
lar successes, for which I am extremely grateful, 
but I am decidedly not a commercial filmmak- 
er — never have been. I am my only client, like 
Hutton. 

The best part of the interview, though, was 
to be called, after a quarter century of filmmak- 
ing, a "sweet kid" by Hutton. That was a real 
treat. 

Keep up the good work. 

Ken Burns 
Walpole, NH 

10 + 1 Artist Colonies 

To the editor, 

Reading Peter Steinberg's "Far From the 
Madding Crowd: 10 Artists Colonies" [Dec. 
1996] , I was startled to see my name credited as 
the founder of Canyon Cinema. That honor 
belongs to Bruce Bailie, Chick Strand, and oth- 
ers who saw it through its early years. My con- 
nection to Canyon came in 1969 and '70 — a 
decade later — when I helped Loren Sears and 
Edith Kramer run Canyon's Cinematheque 
screenings at the old Intersection Church on 
Union Street, and even hosted a number of 
board meetings in my living room. 



Along with the Djerassi Foundation, which 
was a wonderful experience, there is a venue 
for media artists and writers that should be 
added to Steinberg's list of artist colonies. It is 
the Headlands Center for the Arts, which is 
beautifully situated in the coastal Marin 
Headlands just northwest of the Golden Gate 
Bridge. There are year-long residencies for 
Bay Area artists, slots available through a 
number of collaborations with state arts coun- 
cils, such as Ohio and North Carolina, as well 
as international residencies. Write for current 
information and deadlines to: Headlands 
Center for the Arts, AIR Program Info, Fort 
Barry, Sausalito, CA 94965. 

Pat Ferrero 
San Francisco, CA 



A Fulfilling Relationship 

To the editor: 

Your article "Shooting for the Classroom: A 
Producer's Primer to Self-Distribution to the 
Educational Market" [Dec. 1996] was quite 
good. It will be useful to anyone who wants to I 
go into the educational video business. 

There was one significant omission, howev- 
er. Although the article mentions fulfillment ! 
houses, it does not list any. And it does not 
adequately explain that a fulfillment house 
can do practically all the day-to-day chores of | 
distribution. A fulfillment house answers calls, 
faxes, and email and actually ships out videos 
and receives returns. It invoices customers 
and supplies the filmmaker with weekly copies 
of the invoices, so you know what's selling and 
to whom. 

For many years, I have used Transit Media [ 
(22D Hollywood Ave., Hohokus, NJ 07423; 
201-642-1989). I do all my own advertising ' 
and direct mail but leave the physical chores 
of distribution to Transit. Their fees are rea- 
sonable, although they have a minimum 
monthly charge that may make them inappro- 
priate for the smallest independent. The co- 
op New Day Films is one of the many large 
independent film distributors that use Transit. 
There are, of course, other fulfillment houses. 

Because of Transit, I am able to travel freely 
and concentrate on making new videos. I 
worry about marketing only when I have a 
new film that requires a new brochure or 
when it's time to get out a mailing. 

Henry Bass 
Belmont, MA 



NATIONAL 
EDUCATIONAL 
MEDIA 
NETWORK 




supporting excellence in 
educational media 

PRESENTS 

Content '97 

11th Annual Conference, 
Media Market, Showcase & Exhibit 

May 28-31, 1997 

at the Marriott Hotel, Oakland, CA 

The Nation's Only Annual Gathering 

for Producers, Distributors, Users 

& Vendors of Educational Media 



Media Market 
Submission Deadline 

Early Bird 
Registration Deadline 

Conference 



April 21st 
April 30th 



Learn the latest trends, 
state-of-the-art technologies, 
distribution and legal basics. 
Network with producers, 
major distributors, funders, 
media pros. 



Media Market 



The best, low-cost way to 
find a distributor for works-in- 
progress or finished 
productions. 

"We had no less than six distributors 
offering us a contract." 

H.D. Motyl, Kids Vid 

Showcase & Exhibit i 



View latest Gold Apple Award 
winning productions. Browse 
exhibits, see media vendors' 
newest products. 

More Affordable Pricing 

For more information or to register cali: 
510.465.6885 

NEMN 

655 13th Street 
Oakland, CA 9461 2-1 220 
51 0.465.2835 fax 
E-mail nemn@nemn.org 
www.nemn.org 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 7 



ALL NEW EDITIONS 

of 3 Great Resource Books From AIVF/FIVF 



ORDER TODAY - 



SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED! 



In making Picture 
Bride we turned many 
times to AIVF/FIVF 
publications (or the 
facts on I undraising, 
production and distri- 
bution. Their books 
are up-to-date, well 
organized and accessi- 
ble. Best of all, it's 
getting the 411 with- 
out the schmooze. 
Kayo Hatto- 
"Phture Bride" I 



% 



When people ask me 
how and what festi- 
vals to enter, I simply 
refer them to 
AlVF/FIVF's Guide. 
Not only is it the 
most comprehensive 
and up to date listing 
I've seen but the 
indexes slice and dice 
the festivals into 
every conceivable cat- 
egory. It's absolutely 
indispensable for 
independent 
producers. 
Frederick Marx - 
"Hoop Dreams" ^^ 



AIVF GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVALS 

By Kathryn Bowser $34.95/$29.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

The 4th edition of FIVF's best seller is a completely indexed ond easy-to- 
read compendium of over 400 international film and video festivals, 
with contact information, entry regulations, deadlines, categories, 
accepted formats, and much more. The Festival Guide includes infor- 
mation on all types of festivals: small and large, specialized and 
general, domestic and foreign. 



.. - 



ATH «yN B 0W . 



AIVF GUIDE TO FILM & VIDEO DISTRIBUTORS 

Edited by Kathryn Bowser $24.95/$! 9.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

A must-read for film and video makers searching for the right distributor. The 
Distributors Guide presents handy profiles of nearly 200 commercial and nonprofit 
distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work han- 
dled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, this is the best compendium of distribution 
information especially tailored for independent producers available. 



THE NEXT STEP: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS 
AND VIDEOS 

Edited by Nlorrie War show ski $24.95/$! 9.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

Top professionals in the field answer frequently asked questions on distribution. 
Learn more about finding a distributor from Debra Zimmerman ( Women Make 
Movies), self- distribution from Joe Berlinger (producer/director of Brother's 
Keeper), foreign distribution from Nancy Walzog (Tapestry International) and 
theatrical distribution from David Rosen (author of Off Hollywood). Plus find out 
about promotion; public broadcasting, cable and home video markets; non- 
theatrical distribution; contracts and much, much more. 



SAVE OVER 2 5% 

ORDER ALL THREE BOOKS & PAY ONLY $59.95 

Plus shipping and handling. 



CALL NOW (212) 807-1400x235 

Fax:(212)463-8519 

Or write: FIVF, 304 Hudson Street, 6th fl, New York, NY 10013 

Shipping and handling: Domestic-$3.50 for the first, $1.00 for each additional book. 

Foriegn-$5.00 for the first book, SI. 50 for each additional book. 

VISA and MC Accepted. 




FIVF 



FOUNDATION 

F0K INDEPENDENT 
VIDEO AND Fill 



nVSEYES 

DismiBunoN 

Small distributors glare 




Edited by Dana Harris 



The Independent Television Service 
(ITVS), the Congressionally mandated and 
perpetually embattled public TV production 
fund, has been studying the possibility of 
going into distribution. The news has rattled 
the ITVS board and rocked the field by rais- 
ing both financial issues and questions about 
the service's fundamental mandate. 

Created by Congress in 1989, ITVS is the 
product of a concerted lobbying effort by 
independent film- and videomakers (led by 
the Association of Independent Video and 
Filmmakers, among others) who pressured 
public TV to allocate time and money to 
innovative independent production, especial- 
ly that serving underserved audiences. ITVS 
currently spends $5.5 million annually in pro- 
duction grants. 

Since its birth, ITVS has been embroiled 
in controversy from within about how to allo- 
cate its limited resources and has suffered 
high-profile attacks from without, especially 
from Republican legislators eager to find fuel 
for media coverage and items easy to slash 
from the budget. Since 1994, along with all of 
public broadcasting, it has faced unrelenting 
Republican demands to find ways to become 
self-supporting. 

ITVS executive director James Yee says 
that current discussion of distribution propo- 
sals responds more to market pressure than to 
political pressure. "The marketplace is chang- 
ing dramatically," he says. "The broadcast 
window public television provides is crucial 
to us, but it cannot be our only considera- 
tion." Yee points to last year's success in sell- 
ing ITVS programs to cable (several programs 
to the then-prototypical Sundance Channel 
and one sale to Black Entertainment 
Television) and to an increasing trend toward 
international coproductions. He sees propo- 
sals for domestic distribution as part of this 
move toward full-service handling of ITVS- 



funded productions. 

"We don't expect distribution to be much of 
a money-maker, unlike cable and overseas 
sales," he said. "But it's a service we think we 
owe our producers; it's part of our mandate." 

The ITVS staff clearly takes the notion seri- 
ously. It prepared a proposal in October for 
ITVS board review and has begun writing con- 
tracts that extend ITVS control over rights. 
The ITVS board, however, reportedly raised 
serious objections, and as a result ITVS con- 
tracted the consulting team of Dan Adams and 
Arlene Goldbard to conduct a survey of the dis- 
tribution field. Results were due at the next 
ITVS board meeting in February. 

In background 
conversations 
with The Inde- 
pendent, veteran 
distributors were 
deeply skeptical 
that an ITVS 
distribution busi- 
ness would 
either make fin- 



Debbie Zimmerman, executive director of 
distributor Women Make Movies, believes vet- 
eran distributors like her own company have 
much to offer ITVS, which could collaborate 
creatively without competing directly by dis- 
tributing works itself. "We do need closer and 
more collegial relationships as the fields of exhi- 
bition and distribution change rapidly," says 
Zimmerman. 

For some, the proposal harks back to the 
debate in the late eighties over National Video 
Resources (NVR). NVR began as a Rockefeller 
Foundation proposal to launch a nonprofit dis- 
tributor that would handle commercially slight- 



Veteran distributors are 

deeply skeptical that an ITVS 

distribution business would 

make financial sense. 



ancial sense or 
help indepen- 
dent production 

gain visibility. Some problems: ITVS produc- 
tions are distinctive from one another, and 
thereby require vastly different marketing 
strategies; producers who would most want 
ITVS' distribution are likely to be those with 
the least marketable projects; ITVS does not 
have a highly defined product image — an idea 
that could even seem to contradict its original 
mandate of diversity and originality; and final- 
ly, ITVS has no experience in the distribution 
field. Distributors were also greatly skeptical 
that the proposed investment of $230,500 
would be sufficient to start this new business, or 
that projected gains (for instance, $130,000 the 
first year for domestic cable sales) are realistic. 



ed independent work. However, for-profit dis- 
tributors of material largely aimed at the educa- 
tional market argued that viable businesses 
such as theirs were doing that job and would 
only be weakened by a nonprofit competitor. 
They successfully led a campaign to change the 
function of NVR to that of a support service for 
the field. 

Lawrence Daressa, director of niche distrib- 
utor California Newsreel and a former ITVS 
board member, believes that ITVS' distribution 
plans are a dangerous distraction from the real- 
ities of political attacks on the very concept of 
publicly funded programming. 

"It's fiddling while Rome burns," he says. He 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 9 



Tom the international success of 
"Clerks" at Cannes, through the 
dominating presence at student 
film festivals throughout North 
America, through worldwide industry 
acceptance of graduate students, 
Vancouver Film School positions stu- 
dents for success. 

With the spectacular growth of the BC 
Film Industry over the past decade 
and predictions for even more growth 
to the end of the century, shouldn't 
you do the same? 



. Call Vancouver Film School TODAY . 
Position YOURSELF for success. 



VFS OFFERS PORTFOLIO PRODUCTION 

PROGRAMS IN: 

Film 

Classical Animation 

Acting for Film & Television 

Multimedia Production 

3D Computer Animation 

Certified Alias/Wavefront 

Certified Avid 

Certified Digidesign/ProTools 

Call. 

Compare. 

Nothing does. 

Call: 1-800-661-4101 



[Web: http://www.multimedia.eduj 
[E-mail: query13@multimedia.edu ] 



VANCOUVER FILM SCHOOL 

#400 - 1 1 68 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, 

B.C. Canada V6B 2S2 



fears that ITVS will pour its capital into what it 
hopes will be a successor business should ITVS 
lose public funding, but that it instead will end 
up squandering public investment. 

"We're back to the same old question of how 
can we make money differently from commer- 
cial television," Daressa says. "The answer is, 
we can't. There are some kinds of programming 
that don't pay for themselves, and the solution 
is public funding." He advocates that ITVS 
focus on creative approaches to carving out and 
using electronic public spaces — public TV, 
cable access, and computer-assisted "telecen- 
ters." 

For independent producer Barbara Abrash, 
executive producer of the ITVS-funded pro- 
duction Signal to Noise, much more is at stake 
than a battle between small businesses. "The 
business is becoming much more complex with 
more channels and new technologies," she 
admits. "Everyone from Microsoft to Disney to 
ITVS wants to get control of intellectual prop- 
erty in order to have as many options as possi- 
ble." 

What's distinctive here, says Abrash, are the 
aspirations that drove the field to establish 
ITVS. "The real question, for all of us who have 
worked all these years to build support for art 
that can enrich the quality of our lives togeth- 
er, is what will ITVS bring to the project of 
independent public exchange?" 

Pat Aufderheide is an associate professor in the School of 

Communication at American University in 

Washington, D.C. 

New England's Mixed Signals 
Goes Off the Air 

Mixed Signals, New England's oldest cable 
television series of independent film and video, 
is going off the air. The 11-year-old program, 
which took pride in showing many new and 
experimental works, featured artists such as 
Jem Cohen, Spalding Gray, and Su Friedrich. 

The mission of Mixed Signals was to provide 
an alternative to most of what was on television 
and to take independent film and television to 
a wider audience. The result was a mix of estab- 
lished artists and people who had never been 
televised before. Gray's Grey Area showed in 
1986, and Cohen's This Is a History of New York 
appeared in 1990. Skip Blumberg, Woody 
Vasulka, and Branda Miller are among the 
many well-known experimental video and film- 
makers who aired in early Mixed Sigiial shows. 

Produced by the New England Foundation 
for the Arts (NEFA), Mixed Signals made inde- 



pendent film and video available by satellite 
to over 200 cable stations throughout the six 
New England states for free. At its peak, 
Mixed Signals produced two series per year, 
each comprising eight half-hour shows 

Mixed Signals 
asked 200 
stations if 

they wanted 

free tapes. 

Only 35 

responded. 



grouped around a single theme. But with the 
loss of its donated satellite feed two years ago 
as well as the more recent cuts in NEA fund- 
ing, NEFA has decided to discontinue the 
program. 

Produced and curated for the last seven 
years by Julie Levinson, Mixed Signals was a 
show of national and some international 
work designed to take advantage of the need 
for interesting programming on both public 
access and local origination cable channels. 
Though at first it only reached 14 stations, it 
got a large boost early on when the Sports 
Channel and the New England Cable 
Television Association (NECTA) provided 
free satellite transmission to cable television 
stations throughout New England. "They 
were great," Levinson remembers. "Some- 
times if a station told us they had missed the 
transmission, they would even replay it." 
The stations would then record the broad- 
cast for replay later. 

But when both NECTA and the Sports 
Channel changed hands and directions two 
years ago, the satellite link was no longer 
free. Mixed Signals paid for its own satellite 
time in 1995, but the expense ate a large part 
of its already shrinking budget. For its 1996 
program, "All Worked Up" (a four-part series 
consisting of 14 works), NEFA went back to 
bicycling the tapes to whatever station want- 
ed them. Also, Mixed Signals sent more than 
200 letters asking if the stations were inter- 
ested in free tapes for two showings, but only 
35 stations responded positively. 



10 THE INDEPENDENT March 1997 



The final blow came last year when the 
NEA changed their funding guidelines and 
allowed organizations to apply only for a sin- 
gle grant. Though Mixed Signals had also 
received support in the past from other 
sources, including the Warhol Foundation, 
the NEA was its primary funder. NEFA 
chose another program to submit in its NEA 
application, so Mixed Signals never had a 
chance. With this change in NEA policy, it is 
expected that other programs could face sim- 
ilar fates. 

One concern throughout Mixed Signals' 
run was the lack of any hard data on how 
many people it reached. "We never had a 
handle on how many stations showed it and 
how many people watched it," says Levinson. 
In an attempt to coordinate publicity and 
word-of-mouth enthusiasm, the producers 
would try to get the cable stations, who were 
not paying for the programming, to all try to 
air it at the same time. 

"We requested stations to broadcast the 
show on Monday nights at 8:30 
pm," says Jane Buchbinder, Mixed 
Signals' executive producer. But all 
stations could not comply. "Some 
stations already had peewee hockey 
in that time slot," Levinson says. 
She estimates that "in our glory 
days," more than 100 stations aired 
the program. Anecdotal evidence 
supporting this came in the form of 
letters and station support. One 
year, a Manchester, New 
Hampshire station produced their 
own advertising spot for the series. 

In some communities, a local 
public access station showed the 
series; in others it was the cable company's 
own local origination channel. "In some 
communities, like Cambridge, it was both," 
Levenson adds. Over the years, however, the 
local cable channels themselves have lost 
viewers to the larger cable station explosion. 
"The time for this kind of programming is 
kind of over," Buchbinder says. "If we 
[NEFA] are going to do something in film 
and video, it's time for something new." 

Mixed Signals always paid the artists based 
on the length of the work. In years when 
they ran two series, this meant they provided 
up to $15,000 total in fees to independent 
media artists. One year they were even able 
to commission several works, and many years 
they produced interviews with the artists. 
But the various series were only seen in a 



limited fashion through New England cable sta- 
tions because of the contractual agreements 
with the artists. 

Over the years, there was some censorship 
by different stations when they were confront- 
ed by new and sometimes difficult work. In 
1991, the Sports Channel said that they could 
not beam a series up to the satellite because of 
nudity in the film Coffee Colored Children by 
Ngozi Onwurah, a powerful British video about 
racism. Levinson wrote an impassioned plea to 
the president of the Sports Channel, who 
viewed the tape himself and allowed the feed to 
take place. 

"We looked for work that was a bit edgy, 
worked that stretched the conception of televi- 
sion," Levinson says proudly. "Mixed Signals 
served two different constituencies. First was 
the people who watched it and second was the 
artists. I'm sorry it's done with." 

George Fifield (gwf@tiac.net) is a video artist, curator, 

and the director of Video Space, an alternative media 

arts organization in Boston. 




Seattle's Grand Illusion Theatre, built in 1967, has a new 
lease on life. Courtesy Northwest Film Forum 

Seattle's Wiggly World Takes 
on Nonprofit Exhibition 

Jamie Hook and partner Debbie Girdwood, 
co-founders of the Northwest Film Forum and 
its nonprofit production arm, Wiggly World 
Studios, are now taking the brave step into 
nonprofit film exhibition with the purchase of 
Seattle's Grand Illusion Theater. 

Hook hopes the theater will fulfill the 
Northwest Film Forum's vision of making and 
showing films that "have the incredible convic- 
tion that you can change lives." Ideally, the 
Grand Illusion would sit among the ranks of the 
few truly independent venues around the coun- 



Avant-gardistes: 

We were FIRST in NY 
to offer DV, Media 100 

& Digital Betacam 
broadcast services. 

Technophobes: 

We are an experienced, 
user-friendly facility. 

DV Users: 

Sony broadcast DVCAM, 

DCR-VX1000 & the tiny 

JVC Cybercam, plus true 

component bump-ups! 

Creative 
Editors: 

Rough cut or finish on a 

full featured Media 100; 

we'll teach you how. 

Document- 
arians: 

Robotic camera stand 
at an outstanding rate. 

Producers: 

DigitalBeta is NOW, 

move up to rocketship 

online, (hot rod editors 

and the bells & whistles 

at no extra charge). 



Digital 

is easy in the 

Digital Media Zone. 

DMZ/Eric Solstein Prpo\ 
212461-3774 

We accept major credit cards • 
& offer special discounts 
to AIVF members, call. ' 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



Barbara Parks Peter Levin 

SPLASH STUDIOS 

Digital Audio Post-production 
for Film & Video 

I 168 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 
E Tel: 212 271-8747 Fax: 212 271-8748 



Over ZS Features in the Belly. ALL Genres & Budgets! 

DEREK WAN, h.k.s.c. 

Director of Photography 

Represented by: All In One Promotions, Inc. 

For Reel, Call: (212)334 4778 
Fax: (212)334 4776 

E-Mail: allinone@village.ios.com 

Could be an Invaluable Asset to Your Film ! 




try, including the Roxy in San Francisco, the 
Coolidge Corner and Brattle Theater in 
Boston, and Film Forum in New York. 

According to Hook, the 29-year-old theater, 
with its plush red velvet seats and old-fash- 
ioned wood paneled ceiling, has "years of 
movie -watching soaked into its walls." How- 
ever, despite the Grand Illusion's revered place 
in Seattle film audiences' hearts, the theater 
slowly succumbed to financial ruin, a victim of 
fierce commercial theater competition and 
poor advertising. Last summer, owner Paul 
Doyle put the Grand Illusion up for sale and 
approached local cinema organizations — 
including 911 Media Arts Center and 
Scarecrow Video's Sanctuary Theater — with an 
asking price of $65,000. When Hook made a 
counter offer of $20,000, Doyle accepted. 

The acquisition of the theater was a thrilling, 
if premature, chance for Wiggly World to move 
beyond being a postproduction resource. As 
executive director of Wiggly World Studios, 
Hook explains that he always meant to pur- 
chase or build a theater, but planned to do two 
years of post and production work and fund- 
raise first. The struggling, grant-funded produc- 
tion studio was suddenly faced with having to 
raise a $15,000 down payment in four months. 

How Hook and Girdwood raised the money 
to purchase the theater was as ambitious as the 
vision for the theater. In September, they got a 
confirmed grant of $4,000 and set about raising 
the $1 1,000 needed for the down payment due 
January 1. After mailing out a Wiggly World 
membership and "Save the Grand Illusion" 
drive, they received a $2,000 challenge grant to 
be awarded when they raised $10,000. Other 
small grants and contributions trickled in. 
Finally, their efforts to reach local arts patrons 
paid off, when one family put up a $10,000 
challenge grant toward the running of the the- 
ater once it opens. They made the down pay- 
ment just before Christmas. 

The theater will likely run on a per-program 
funding basis; its grand re-opening was partial- 
ly supported by Washington's Commission for 
the Humanities. Hook says the theater's non- 
profit status enables the operation to "focus on 
something other than asses in seats." 

But how to recruit a dedicated audience 
among a public whose perception of film is so 
steeped in commercial value? Says Hook, 
"Having a theater is the perfect way to do this. 
You have to convince people that it's important 
to see films. In a truly good theater, there is a 
communication between the audience and the 
theater, people experience something universal 



12 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



together." 

However, Seattle does not have a built-in 
audience for daring and innovative work. The 
Pike Street Cinema closed last year, and 
owner/archivist Dennis Nyback relocated to 
New York. "Lots of people didn't go to the Pike 
Street Cinema because they never knew what 
was playing there," says Girdwood. "It wasn't 
publicized very much. But everybody has a 

Hook says the 

theater's 
noprofit status 
enables the 
operation to 
"focus on some- 
thing other than 
asses in seats." 



fondness for it, and probably wanted to go there 
regularly." 

Robert Grays, programmer of several film 
series in the Seattle area, including the 
Sanctuary Theater, the OK Hotel Film Series, 
and the Olympia Film Society, expresses doubt 
as to Wiggly World's plans to train Seattle audi- 
ences for independent film. "Considering the 
lack of challenging programming in this city, 
they have the potential to do great things. But 
it's really hard to encourage people to get out 
there and see films. In my experience, there's 
really a very small group of people who regular- 
ly attend." 

Hook disagrees. "The way to get people to 
attend the theater is to not be afraid to market 
it. If you can get a core audience to believe in 
you, who develop a habit of going to see things 
at the Grand Illusion, then that translates into 
a bigger thing. But you have to let them know 
it's there in order for that to happen." 

The theater re-opened its doors January 31. 
Independent film scholar Ray Carney made a 
keynote presentation before a screening of John 
Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence. The 
program continued with showings of works by 
Su Friedrich as well as local filmmakers Rick 
Schmidt and Caveh Zahedi. A panel discussion 
with local filmmakers and screenings of their 
short film work rounded out the weekend. 




tel 212 533 0330 fax 212 533 0391 Email szerb@iwterport.net 



Lynn Hershman 
Laurel Chiten 
Jane Gillooly 




Tape-to-Film Transfers . . . 

Call the Film Craft Lab. OurTeledyne CTR-3 uses 
high grade precision optics and is pin-registered for 
a rock steady transfer and superior results. 
A few of our satisfied clients include: 



"Virtual Love" 
"Twitch and Shout" 
"Leona's Sister Gerri' 



We offer a two-minute MOS 16mm color demo at no charge 
from your videotape. 

For Exceptional 

Processing & Printing . . . 



We've been processing and printing motion picture film for over 
25 years, so we understand the challenges of the independent 
filmmaker. We're a full-service film laboratory and one of the 
few labs that still processes black & white film. For professional 
lab services, call us first. 

• Daily Processing 

• Black & White Processing & Printing - 16mm & 35mm 

• Color Processing & Printing - 16mm & 35mm 

• Black & White/Color Reversal Processing & Printing 

• Camera Raw Stocks 

• Rank/da Vinci Film-to-Tape Transfers 

• Video Duplication 



THE FILM CRAFT LAB 

A DIVISION OF 

Grace & Wild ipj^zmimsm 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 13 




rave 



NON-LINEAR EDITING FOR 

FILM* VIDEO 'MULTIMEDIA 

SOUND DESIGN * SYNCING * MIXING 



PROTOOLS 



EXTENSIVE SAMPLING + SOUND UBflAiff 

BETA SP ACQUISITION + LOCKUP 

, PLATFORM MULTIMEDIA + WEB AUTHORING 



£s&~ SoHoTELE FAH 212:925:7759 

brave@ingress.com 



F I L M 

MAKING 




' ''* 



WRITE • DIRECT • SUCCT • EDIT 

YOUR OWN SHORT FILMS IN OUR HANDS-ON 

EIGHT WEEK TOTAL IMMERSION PROGRAM 

FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LITTLE OR NO 

PRIOR FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE. 



SPECIAL SUMMER SIX WEEK WORKSHOPS AT 

YALE & PRINCETON UNIVERSITIES 

These workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy. 



LEARN CONCEPTS OF STORY, DIRECTING, 

CAMERA, LIGHTING, SOUND & EDITING IN AN 

INTENSIVE YET SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. 

WORK WITH 16MM ARRIFLEX CAMERAS IN 

SMALL CLASSES DESIGNED AND TAUGHT 

BY AWARD-WINNING INSTRUCTORS. 

TUITION $4000. 



NEW WORKSHOPS START FIRST MONDAY OF 
EVERY MONTH IN NEW YORK CITY ALL YEAR ROUND. 



ADVANCED FILM DIRECTING WORKSHOP AVAILABLE 



NEW yCEK riLH ACADEMY 

100 EAST 17TH STREET NYC 10003 TEL: 212-674-4300 FAX: 212-477-1414 

WEB:www. nyfa.com E-MAIL: nyfa@panix.com 

FORMERLY LOCATED AT THE TRIBECA FILM CENTER 



Future theater programming includes show- 
ings of independent cinema from around the 
world, repertory specials (likely the theater's 
most stable endeavor), and retrospectives of 
great directors' work. 

"We want to not only show films, but also be 
able to inspire people," says Hook. "A theater 
can be incredibly inspiring to filmmakers; if 
they can see what's out there, theys will contin- 
ue to have faith in what they're doing. The sad 
thing about Hollywood and mass media is the 
loss of local culture, which is where true culture 
and truly independent ideas begin." 

Noelia Santos is a freelance writer living in Seattle. Her 
work also appears in the Seattle Weekly. 



Hard to Beat: Free Film Stock 
for Documentaries 

Eastman Kodak has announced plans to culti- 
vate American documentary production by 
donating 200,000 feet of 16mm stock — enough 
for 80 hours of production — to the Los 
Angeles-based International Documentary 
Association (IDA). 

The IDA is a nonprofit organization with 
1 ,400 members in 24 countries that serves as a 
forum for non-fiction filmmakers. The IDA also 
conducts an annual Distinguished Achieve- 
ment Awards competition to recognize excel- 
lence in the documentary field. 

"We believe all important documentaries 
should be originated on film," says Kodak's 
John Mason. "It provides more flexibility for 
production and display on current television 
and future HDTV systems, as well as in the- 
aters. Film is also a much more enduring 
archival medium than magnetic tape." 

Kodak refers to the donation as a "pilot pro- 
ject," perhaps indicating that plans exist to 
develop a regular grant program. Reminding 
filmmakers of the advantages of film may also 
encourage them to buy more — an important 
concern for Kodak as high-end video produc- 
tion becomes increasingly popular among doc- 
umentarians. 

IDA executive director Betsy McLane points 
out that Kodak has long been a supporter of her 
organization. "They are a true friend — this 
donation will provide tangible support for 
deserving nonfiction producers and help to 
ensure the efficacy of their work." 

For more information, call Kamla Maya 
Franklin at IDA: (310) 284-8422; fax: 785- 
9334. 

Ryan Deitssing is the editorial assistant at The 
Independent. 



14 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



o 

THE SICHEL SISTERS 

ALL. OVER ME 

By Eliza Berry 

The streets of Hell's Kitchen and riot 
grrrl rock set the stage for All Over Me, the 
first feature from a triumvirate of gutsy New 
York women: producer 
Dolly Hall, director Alex 
Sichel, and writer Sylvia 
Sichel. A!I Over Me is a 
dark, gritty, coming-of-age 
story told from a lesbian, 
feminist point of view and 
driven by a roaring punk- 
rock soundtrack. 

This labor of love started 
three years ago, when Alex 
Sichel received a grant from 
the Princess Grace 
Foundation to work on a 
script set in the riot grrrl 
music scene. A graduate of 
Columbia University's film 
program, Alex collaborated 
on the screenplay with her 
younger sister Sylvia, who 
had studied creative writing 
at Oberlin College and has 
seen her plays performed 
Off Off Broadway. 

The sisters have an easy 
rapport. Over coffee in a 
downtown cafe, Alex's stri- 
dent manner of expression is 
neatly balanced by Sylvia's 
demure, self-effacing air. 
Fortunately, their differ- 
ences were complementary 
during the writing and film- 
making process. While Alex was drawn to the 
riot grrrl scene, Sylvia was more interested in 
the noir terrain of a relationship between two 
adolescent girls. All Over Me combines both 
elements as it describes the story of Claude, 
an aspiring grunge rocker, and her troubled 
best friend and first crush, Ellen. As their 
friendship disintegrates after a boyfriend and 
a homophobic murder alter their lives, 
Claude — tenderly portrayed by Allison 
Folland (To Die For) — is transformed and 
ultimately liberated. 



Claude's internal struggle was a challenge for 
first-time writer Sylvia, who nonetheless expe- 
rienced her own sense of liberation in moving 
from stage to screenwriting. "It was thrilling for 
me to explore the character in such an internal 
way," she says. "I had much more control over 
what the audience would focus on." Her sister 
agrees, saying, "I was really striving to use film 
in a very vertical way, to go deeper than the 
average linear story." 

Both women are adamant about the necessi- 
ty of rewrites (Sylvia spent a year and a half on 





hers). "It's really important to spend the time," 
notes Alex. "I just don't believe those people 
who say they did it in a few weeks. Either 
they're lying or the scripts they write are shit." 

While the sisters were working on the script, 
producer Dolly Hall was beginning to look for a 
new project. Hall had just finished coproducing 
the lesbian farce The Incredibly True Adventures 
of Two Girls in Love, and the film's director, 
Maria Maggenti, suggested the Sichel sisters. 

Hall had no shortage of potential projects. 
Ever since she line -produced Ang Lee's The 



Wedding Banquet (which cost $600,000 and 
grossed $38-million worldwide), she says, "My 
phone never really stopped ringing." 

The Sichel project seemed a perfect fit. Hall 
related strongly to the script. "I really believed 
in this story," she says. "I had lived it. I fell in 
love, got cheated. It is universal and particular 
all at once." 

The sisters and Hall formed Medusa 
Pictures and started to look for financing. Or as 
Alex jokes, "We all looked and Dolly found it." 
Hall believed in the film so much that when 
push came to shove, she invested her own 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



money, using her profits on The Incredibly True 
Adventures to float the production. "My lawyer 
will tell you I'm insane, but I knew we'd get it 
financed. 'If we build it, they will come' is my 
motto." Ten days after they wrapped the movie, 
she closed the financing with two private 
investors. 

The film was finished in April 1996, a diffi- 
cult time of year to try to garner attention. The 
Sundance Film Festival had come and gone, 
and the next big domestic festival wasn't until 
Toronto in September. The filmmakers faced 
the challenge of stirring up interest without the 
benefit of festival hype. 

The trio's lawyer, Ezra Doner, was instru- 
mental in strategizing with Hall. Together they 
came up with a plan to screen the film on both 
coasts two days apart. 

"We invited cast and crew and invested our 
last few dollars in airline tickets between L.A. 
and New York. It was a gamble," explains Alex. 
Executives at all the major distribution compa- 
nies had previously expressed interest, but no 
one had committed any money. "All these 
female executives said, 'Oh God, yes, this film 
has to get made. Call me when it's done,' " Alex 
wryly notes. "It takes a lot for someone to write 
a check." 

Their gamble paid off. Liz Mann from Fine 
Line saw the film and called her boss, Ruth 
Vitale, immediately. Two days later, All Over Me 
was sold to Fine Line. The film is scheduled to 
open March 28. 

he sisters' story of preparation, determina- 
tion, and conviction is echoed in their hero- 
ine's triumphant tale. "Claude is our hero. She 
actually succeeds in sticking up for herself 
which, for a girl at her age in our 
society, is really hard," says Sylvia. 

Like their hero, the Sichel sisters 
have succeeded in standing up for 
themselves. "You really have to stay 
involved," says Alex, stressing the 
importance of staying with the film 
even after distribution has been 
secured. Without missing a beat, 
her sister finishes the thought: "No 
one cares as much about your film 
as you do." 

Eliza Berry is a filmmaker in postproduc- 
tion on her debut feature, Le Femme de 
Nulle Part (The Girl from Nowhere). 



o 



dir-ectxxr 
CHt/Vl-K 



By Michael Fox 



AS FAR AS THE FILM INDUSTRY IS CONCERNED, 
Rob Nilsson dropped off the radar about 15 
minutes after he won the grand prize at the 
1988 U.S. Film Festival (subsequently rechris- 
tened the Sundance Film Festival) for Heat and 
Sunlight and hasn't been sighted 
since. Nilsson's uncompro- 
mising pursuit of emo- 
tional truth wasn't 
embraced by dis- 
tributors then, nor 
does it fit com- 
fortably in the 
larger yet more 
mainstream 
niche that 

American inde- 
pendents captured 
in the ensuing decade. 

Nonetheless, the 
Berkeley-based 
filmmaker 
is in 



the midst of a creative whirlwind, thanks to 
the combination of inexpensive new technol- 
ogy and his own restless energy. Chalk, his 
latest take -no -prisoners drama of outsiders 
jousting for scraps and self-respect in a low- 
rent pool hall, premiered last spring at the 
San Francisco International Film Festival and 
will have its theatrical premiere this spring. 
(If the discussions he was having with distrib- 
utors at press-time yield no results, Nilsson 
won't hesitate to self-distribute Chalk, as he 
did Heat and Sunlight.) Four years in the mak- 
ing, this story of family resentments boasts a 
mostly nonprofessional cast culled from the 
Tenderloin Action Group, an intensive act- 
ing and production workshop founded by 
Nilsson that matches volunteer filmmakers 
with recently homeless Bay Area denizens. 
Nilsson is committed to exploring differ- 
ent dimensions of improvisation, but his 
approach differs from that of, say, Mike 
Leigh. Whereas the British director 
and his casts create characters (and 
their back stories) and invent a 
scenario, Nilsson asks his actors 
to spontaneously mine their per- 
sonal life experiences and emo- 
tions. He calls it Direct Action 
Cinema, and his credo is "Scavenge 
for the miraculous." 
"I like the metaphor of a slipstream," 
Nilsson says, "a flow of energy, 
intuition, and 



16 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 




YOUR LIBRARY 

METHE 
INDEPENDENT? 

Take this coupon to 

your school or public 

librarian and request a 

subscription today! 



10 issues/yr. 
Library subscription rate $75 

Published by the Foundation for 

Independent Video and Film 

ISSN 0731-0589 

Order from FIVF, 

304 Hudson St., 6th FL, NY, NY 10013; 

(212) 807-1400 x 235 

EBSCO: (205) 991-6600; 

fax (205) 991-1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283-2966; 

CAN (519) 472-1005; 

CAN fax (519) 472-1072 



m 



518$$ 



■:'-'■'■■• 



1 

■ 






I 



wEM 

HI 

mm 



ORDER THESE BOOKS FROM FIVF 

NEW EDITIONS - ORDER NOW.' 

The AIVF/HVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

byKathryn Bowser. $29.95 AIVF members; $34.95 others 



The AIVF/FIVF Guide to Film & Video Distributors 

by Kathryn Bowser $19.95 AIVF members; $24-95 others 



The Next Step: A FUrn and Video Distribution Handbook 

Morrie Warshawski, ed. $19.95 AIVF members; $24-95 others 



Order all three and save! 

$59.95 AIVF members; $74.95 others $ 



Alternative Visions: Distributing Independent Video in a 
Home Video World by Debra Franco; $9.95 AIVF members; 
$12.95 others $ 

Film and Video Financing by Michael Wiese; $22.95 $ 



Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualising from Concept to 
Screen by Steven D. Katz; $24.95 $ 

Home Video: Producing for the Home Market by Michael 
Wiese; $11.95$ 

The Independent Film & Videomakers Guide by Michael 
Wiese; $13.95 $ 

The RO.V Online Experiment by Don Adams &. Arlene 
Goldbard; $5. CO incl. postage 6* handling S 

Shaking the Money Tree: How to Get Grants and Donations 
for Film a:\d Video by Morrie Warshawski; $24-95 $ 

ige/handling: US - $3.50 1st book, $1.00 ea. addl; 
Foreign - $5.00 1st book, $1.50 ea. addl $ 

TOTAL $ 



Make checks payable to FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., 
NY, NY 10013; or charge by phone: (212) 807-1400 x 235 
or fax: (2 12) 463-85 J 9. 







experience. When we're filming, we're record- 
ing it in real time, receiving this slipstream of 
information, feeling, and emotion that links 
everybody. I trained for 30 years to do this." 

Nilsson's relentless probing for the emotion- 
al heart of the moment — in rehearsal as well as 
in filmed performance — hearkens to another 
maverick, John Cassavetes, but he's plugged 
into the future when it comes to cutting the 
cost of getting films in the can. Chalk and 
Singing, the first installment in Nilsson's ambi- 
tious new series of nine theatrical features, Nine 
at Night, was shot on Betacam SFJ cut on an 
Avid, and blown up to 35mm. Another plus to 
the lightweight camera, from Nilsson's perspec- 
tive, is the flexibility in shooting on the run in 
urban landscapes. 

"More and more," Nilsson says, "I'm trying 
to dip into stuff that's germane to the streets, 
that's already in the streets. It's free -form, it's 
an experiment as to where the chaos is and 
where the order is and how to blend the two. 
We're mixing the ridiculous and the demonic 
and everything in between." As far as Nilsson is 
concerned, you can keep your magic hour; after 
dark is when the action begins. "It's the time 
when paradoxes occur: We dare more, but we 
fear more, leading to adventures we don't have 
in the day." 

Nine at Night veers closer to Kieslowski's 
Three Colors trilogy than his Decalogue, as char- 
acters from one film surface in the background 
of another. Nilsson is cobbling together the 
money through a limited partnership and for- 
eign presales. His goal is to keep making 
movies; five of the Nine at Night have already 
been shot, although Singing is the only one so 
far to be cut. 

Tall and lanky with his omnipresent black 
motorcycle jacket, Nilsson doesn't look like he's 
in his mid-fifties, although his hair is now 
streaked with grey. One would never describe 
the man as mellowing, especially after reading 
his hilariously vituperative essays dissecting 
Tarantino and other wunderkinder. As far as his 
vision and approach, Nilsson asserts, "I'm not 
going anywhere that I wasn't going before," and 
he's right: the impassioned themes of the new 
film — individual responsibility and the insepa- 
rability of the personal and the political — are 
the same ones that have dominated Nilsson's 
work since he broke onto the scene with 
Northern Lights in 1979. 

Nilsson was honored with a retrospective in 
December at the Harvard Film Archive, but 
unfortunately there are few other signs that the 
American public has overdosed on special- 



RifLnAVlD 



(212)228-7748 



296 Elizabeth Street, Suite bf 

New York, N.Y. 

10012 

AVID & D/Vision suites 

at reasonable prices 

t?ifk.nA\/lD is an HM Rifken Productions,lnc. Co. CALL ABOUT Beta SP Camera packages (IKE-57!) and crews 



flUH Wanted 



OVATION 



THE Arts network 

W<*v\VS your Films 

about the > 






Fax or e-mail descriptions or completed broadcast quality iilms to 

OVATION's Programming Department. (No phone calls please.) 

All television broadcast rights must be cleared. 

Fax: 703-518-3096 or e-mail: inro@ovationtv.com 

For more inrormation about OVATION, check out our website: 

www.ovationtv.com 




OVATION 



Sinfi© 



lllll 



The Arts Network ' 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



V I 




PICTURES 



CUTTING EDGE NEW PCI AVIDS 

ON-LINE // OFF-LINE 

AVID COURSES // INDIE RATES 

FABULOUS ROOMS 

AVR 77 



212 255 2564 

34 W 17TH STREET 




effects movies and is ready for the unglamorous 
characters and emotional honesty that Nilsson 
traffics in. Seemingly Sundance won't champi- 
on that brand of truly independent work, 
either; its top prize hasn't gone to a film of 
equivalent uncompromising intensity since 
Nilsson's triumph in 1988. Nilsson doesn't 
blame anybody but his fellow filmmakers, how- 
ever, with their calling- card movies. 

"Film is going way of the training-wheel 
endeavor," he says with equal parts exaspera- 
tion and resignation, "to get into the big 
show — Hollywood. Most of the young filmmak- 
ers don't have an anti-Hollywood view. They 
don't perceive the commercialization of 
Hollywood as bad. They're looking to join the 
club." 

For more information about Chalk, contact 

producers Rand Crook and Ethan Sing, Pacific 

Rim Media, 539 Natoma St., San Francisco, 

CA 94103; (415) 255-7872; fax: 255-7864. 

Michael Fox is a Bay Area freelance writer 

and a longtime contributor to The 

Independent. 



o 



clooi*rTTeri.ta.-r£ciTT 

PREDICTIONS 
OF FIRE 

By Ryan Deussing 

In 1991, Michael Benson traveled to 
Slovenia to begin production on what 
was supposed to be his second-year film 
for New York University's graduate film 
program. Nonplussed after two years of 
film school, Benson decided to take a 
shot at a professional TV production, 
leaving the door open at NYU only in 
case his plans fell through. When the 
project began to take off, it became 
clear that the film meant more to him 
than school, and he never went back. 
"The main positive aspect of film school 
was the people who went there," he 
recalls. "Once you start to work with 
them, it doesn't make much sense to 
continue paying $20,000 a year." 

Benson intended to make a film 
about the controversial Slovenian art 



collective Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), 
whose exploits he'd been following since the 
mid-eighties. 

Fresh out of college, Benson had landed a 
job at the New York Times, where he came 
across a wire -story about one of NSK's first 
scandals: they had entered a poster from 
Nazi Germany (with slight adjustments) in a 
contest commemorating the birthday of 
Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito — and 
won. The Yugoslavian government was cha- 
grined when they realized the iconography 
they sanctioned was hardly distinguishable 
from Fascist propaganda. 

"It was a fascinating strategy — question- 
ing and revealing the mechanisms of totali- 
tarian power — and something that I was 
already very interested in," says Benson. "I 
said to myself, 'I've gotta meet them.'" Soon 
thereafter, he made his first trip to Slovenia 
to write a story about NSK for The Nation. 




18 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



"I never did write the story, for various 
reasons, but I met the NSK people and it was 
a great experience — their interest in the 
questions of power and manipulation was in 
complete sync with my own." 

Benson's interest in NSK and the politics 
of Eastern Europe may be a function of his 
background; he was born in Europe and lived 




for years in both Moscow and Belgrade, where 
his father was an American diplomat. "I was 
constantly flying back and forth between East 
and West and seeing first-hand the hypocrisies 
of both worlds." Benson eventually stayed in 
the East, freelancing for publications including 
The Nation, Rolling Stone, and the New York 
Times, and gathering material for what would 
later become the award-win- 
ning NSK documentary, 
Predictions of Fire. 

"It was during this period 
that I turned 27 and had a 
sort of 'dark night of the 
soul' experience," he recalls. 
"I realized that what I really 
wanted to do was make 
films, but I was totally scared 
by the idea." After several 
years of journalism, Benson 
realized that if he didn't find 




EMTTLM 



9 m $ f 



wm 



Cveruthing far 
Past Production. 



FULL LABORATORY $€RVIC€$ 

T€L€Cin€ 

€DITORIAL 

Past Prod. Supervisors 

Dailies $uncing 

€dge Coding 

Film €diting 

Digital nonlinear 
Flatbed 

Assistant Cditing 

On- Line €diting 

Cguipment Rental 
$P€CIAL €FF€CT$ 

Digital/Optical 
$OUflD 

Design 

€diting 

€ffects 

Foleu 

ADR 

ITtixing 

Sweetening 

Transfers 
1/4" to 1 
DAT to 
fTlag. to] 

mu$ic 

Composing 

Recording 

€diting 

Libraru 
VID€0 DUBBIfK 
TITL€$ & CR€I 
fl€GATIV€ CI 
VID€0 TO FII 
DIGITAL 



lal 



: €R$ 



f 



We are an independent Group 
of Businesses that make uour 
Post Production, nightmare a .; 

dr€ Am V^'?'' 



For more Information call 



March 1 997 T H E I N D E P E N D E N T 19 



LA. 



N.Y 



NASHVILLE 




At Watkins, filmmaking 
is an art, not a recipe. 



If you're looking for an original, creative approach to filmmaking, 
feast your eyes on Watkins Film School. An award-winning faculty 
and professional industry internships take you through the entire 
creative process from start to finish. Watkins offers degree and 
professional certificate programs in producing, directing, screen- 
writing, cinematography, and editing. You'll learn production, 
sure. But, more importantly, you'll learn how to break the mold 
of formula filmmaking. Call now for more information. 




Imagine it. Create it. 

1 800288-1420 

601 CHURCH ST,. NASHVILLE TN 37219 

WATKINS FILM SCHOOL IS PART OF THE WATKINS INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN. 
WATKINS IS ONE OF THE NATION'S OLDEST NON-PROFIT CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTERS. 



the courage to try filmmaking, he would proba- 
bly never forgive himself. He applied to NYU, 
was accepted, and headed to New York. 

Benson had trouble coming up with dramat- 
ic shorts — the staple product of film school — 
perhaps because his thoughts focused on find- 
ing a way to make a film about NSK. "It 
occurred to me that it was the perfect way to 
trade in on my journalistic experience — to 
make a documentary film as innovative as pos- 
sible in an essayistic, Euro-style mode." 

The result is a film about art, politics, and 
war in which Benson chronicles the NSK phe- 
nomenon, focusing on the band Laibach, whose 
distinctive blend of German lyrics, industrial 
beats, and what some see as fascist iconography 
attracted both attention and outrage through- 
out Europe. In addition to footage from Laibach 
concerts and NSK "art actions," Predictions fea- 
tures excerpts from Yugoslavian newsreels, 
Communist propaganda films, and videos shot 
during the recent Balkan war. 

"As far as I'm concerned, the mystery of 
mankind's manipulability is right at the center 
of the twentieth century, and that's the subject 
of the film — how are we so easily manipulated?" 

While the film's experimental combination of 
documentary and "staged" footage aims to pro 
voke viewers into thinking seriously about its 
subject, the result may prove too dense for audi 
ences whose interest in Yugoslavian issues 
begins and ends with Christian Amanpour. 
Although Predictions has screened in 25 U.S. 
cities and garnered rave reviews, American tele- 
vision has yet to bite. Meanwhile, the film has 
been televised in Australia, Slovenia, Bosnia- 
jj Herzegovina (TV-Sarajevo), Austria, Finland, 
and Hungary. A bootleg copy was even broad- 
cast illegally by Belgrade's TVB late last year. 

Predictions was screened in the new 
"Frontier" section at last year's Sundance and 
won first prize in both Vancouver and St. 
Petersburg. Benson also recently finished shoot- 
ing his second film, which, like his first, is being 
coproduced by TV Slovenia. He refers to the 
film, currently titled Trarisriatioriala, as an "artis- 
tic doc-comedy road-movie" that follows six 
Slovenians, three Russians, and an American 
on a "mission of discovery" through 20 
American states in two RV's. "Just imagine 
three Russian Jewish conceptualist intellectual 
artists hitting Las Vegas, and you'll get the gen- 
eral idea." 

Predictions of Fire, Artistic License Films 
(212) 265-9119; Kinetikon Pictures: http:// 
lois.kud-fp.si/kinetikon/ 

Ryan Deussing (ryan(S thing.net) is a freelance writer 
and editorial assistant for The Independent. 



20 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



The Hamptons Film Festival: 
MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY FACE? 




A four-year-old festival 

weighs regional charm vs. 

industry clout 

by Dana Harris 



There's any number of reasons for a film 
festival's appeal — quirky choices, regional 
selections, lots of premieres — but the four- 
year-old Hamptons International Film 
Festival has a trump card: there aren't a lot of 
ways to spend October 16-20 that are more 
pleasant than hanging out in the tony village 
of East Hampton, Long Island. 

The allure of fall weather has remained 
consistent, but with three festival directors 
over the last four years, the festival has had to 
struggle to establish an identity. While it's 
possible that 1996 will prove its breakthrough 
year — the festival's grand prize was shared by 
Mugshot and Puddle Cruiser, a film that led 
ABC-TV to invite the director to write a 
pilot for the network — the Hamptons has 
some unusual sources of support. 

It could be argued that when Sundance 
began discussing its "premieres only" policy in 
1995 and singled out the Hamptons, it was a 
sort of benediction. (If they threaten 
Sundance, they have to be good, right?) And 
timing the festival to coincide with the last 
glimmer of Indian summer does more than 
bring out leaf-happy movie buffs; it helps 
entice industry watchers who might other- 
wise be tempted to skip the three -hour trip 
from Manhattan and track the festival via the 
trades. 

However, these blessings are mixed in the 
respect that while they push the Hamptons 
toward a higher profile, that profile defines 
the Hamptons as being more of an industry 
festival than a regional one. 

As for first-time festival director Ken 
Tabachnick, he isn't ready to come down on 




either side. While he acknowledges that locale 
is a large part of the festival's charm, he says the 
Hamptons — which this year offered 48 features 
(10 of which competed for the top Golden 
Starfish Award), 13 documentaries, and 37 
shorts — has more to offer than good weather 
and proximity to Manhattan. 

"We want to provide a supportive and hos- 
pitable environment for films with a strong 
artistic and creative voice and to nourish film- 
making talent," says Tabachnick. "That sort of 
expands to building the profile and presence of 
the festival within the film industry, so that the 
industry and the public recognize us as a serious 
proponent of the filmmaking art. We intend to 
become a major cultural resource on the east 
end of Long Island." 

Sam Maser, who served as the programming 
director for the 1996 festival, sees the 
Hamptons festival as benefiting the local com- 
munity. "There's enormous interest from both 
the year-round and summer people, and this 
seems to bring both together," she says. 
However, she admits that the Hamptons name 
seems to captivate New York distributors. 
Among those who attended the 1996 festival 
were ABC Entertainment president Jamie 



Tarses, Miramax vice president Amy Israel, and 
Twentieth Century Fox vice president Bob 
Aaronson. 

"There's a lot of festivals, but there aren't a 
lot that get a lot of attention," says Maser, who 
says the Hamptons seems to be perceived as a 
'New York festival' — i.e., one that will receive 
national attention — rather than a regional 
event. "The distributors look at it differently 
than a regional festival in Texas or 
Massachusetts. There were films we couldn't 
have because they [the filmmakers] were afraid 
of what a negative New York review would do 
for them. I thought that was interesting — peo- 
ple perceived us as having the power to 
launch." 

Both Maser and Tabachnick were new to the 
festival in 1996, but only Tabachnick stayed on. 
(Among other reasons, Maser wanted a job 
that didn't require a long-distance relationship 
with her husband, who works in Manhattan.) 

With a background in live, video, and film 
production, Tabachnick spent the last three 
years as the corporate director of the 
Independent Feature Project and the producer 
of the Gotham Awards. 

Since this is his first year to direct the festi- 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



^d 


% 


-f£ 


▼J ? g 


w 

it"" 1 


7///J 


Original 


1511 


Music 


HiHilT.TB 


• films 


• l/o/cfi Over 


• features 


• D/fl/tol frf/f/'/ig 


• S/iorfj 


• Sou/id design 


• Animation 


• Sound fffecfs 


• Commercials 


• Inserts 


• Radio 




• Corporate 




212-947*G107 


50 W 34th Street, Suite 9C9, Nbw York. NY 10001 



WARP SOUND 

Audio Post Production 
for Film Video & Multimedia 

Scoring ~ Sound Design ~ Mixing 

Digital Audio Workstation 

Digital Signal Processing 

Audio Sculpting ~ SFX ~Resynthesis 

Sonification ~ Environments 

Time Compression / Expansion 

Wildies ~ Spectral Morphology 

Granular Synthesis 

WARP SOUND EMC. 

611 BROADWAY 

NEW YORK CITY 10012 

TEL: 2X2~475~oii4 

E\X: 2i2~475~0335 

ad design: housner printing & design 212.594.4722 



val, Tabachnick says he'd "like to reserve judg- 
ment" on assessing its strengths. However, he 
mentions several highlights. "We actually give 
awards and services, and the community is a 
particularly sophisticated one and is intelligent 
and responsive to the work of the filmmakers." 
While Maser acknowledges buyers as wel- 
come participants, she sees the Hamptons as 
being concerned with the more intimate 
aspects of festival-going. "Other festivals have 
become [targeted] for distributors or buyers, 
but that's what 
markets are for," 
she says. "Re- 
gional festivals 
mean that the 
audience can 
interact with 
the person who 
created [the 
film]. A lot of 
distribution 



the festival (Schizopolis, Gray's Anatomy, and 
The Daytrippers, which he executive pro- 
duced) says whatever the Hamptons is offer- 
ing, it's just right. "The people who run the 
festival were nice, the location was spectac- 
ular, and it hasn't turned into a market yet. 
There's a sense that the people are there 
because they want to see movies rather than 
make deals. When you remove that element, 
it's amazing how different that is. That whole 
side of the business is not present. It takes 



I There aren't a lot of ways 
more pleasant to spend 
October 16-20 than hanging out 
in East Hampton, Long Island. 



companies were 

calling me about certain titles, but that's not 
what it's about. People don't usually get the 
chance to talk to the filmmakers." 

Steven Soderbergh, who had three films at 



Screenings for Breathing Room 9 
didn't have much; despite a driving 
storm, the film packed the house. 

Courtesy Arrow Releasing. 



the sex, lies... scenario at Sundance, where 
some film achieves notoriety," he says, refer- 
ring to his own film that caused both his 
career and Sundance's profile to skyrocket. 




22 THE INDEPENDENT March 1997 



While the Hamptons may not be notorious 
for anything other than housing costs just yet, 
filmmakers liked the less frenetic pace. Mark 
Wexler, who directed the autobiographical doc- 
umentary Me and M;y Matchmaker, says he 
appreciated the chance to talk with his audi- 
ence, although he notes, "Everyone was incred- 
ibly rich." 

Not that he held that against them. "Variety 
said [Matchmaker] was one of the top five audi- 
ence favorites." As for his own assessment of 
the festival's intent, he saw the Hamptons as 
straddling both sides of the fence. "It seems 
kind of split between an audience festival and a 
filmmaker's festival." 

Carlton Prickett, whose dark comedy 
Winterlude took the top prize in the short film 
competition, says that the festival offered a bal- 
ance within the buzz. "It was busy enough to 
make me feel it was an accomplishment to be 
there, but not so busy that I couldn't relax," he 
says. "I went to Sundance three years ago as a 
viewer and it was such a melee that I all I want- 
ed to do was go skiing; I didn't want to deal 
with movies." 

However, the Hamptons received a record 
number of entries in 1996, and some filmmak- 




Award Winning Clients And 
Productions at Reasonable Rates 



A V 



9 & 4 

Film & Video Production > 

Post-Production Specialists 

Time Coded Duplication 

Hi-8, VHS, 3/4SP, Betacam SP 
Editing & Dubbing 

Mac Graphics & Digital Effects 



375 West B'way 3R, NY, NY 10012 

3 3 4-8283 




Why spend a fortune to shoot smooth shots, 
when you can own a Glidecam V-16 or V-20. 

The Glidecam V-16 stabilizes cameras weighing from 
1 to 20 pounds The V-20 stabilizes cameras weighing 
from 15 to 26 pounds. Both systems come complete 
with Support Vest, Dyna-Elastic™Arm, and Camera Sled. 
Leasing is available as low as $99.00 a month. 
Call us today, you'll be blown away at our prices 

We also offer the Glidecam 1000 Pro. 3000 Pro. and Dual-G hand-field 
stabilizers, the Camcrane 100 boom-arm camera crane, and the Glidecam 
Body-Pod for use with either the 1000 Pro, or the 3000 Pro 



1-800-949-2089 or 1-508-866-2199 

or reach us at http://www.glidecam.com 



bhdecam is Registered at the ka I tN I and I M oftice 





mMKSMBSSm 



Betacam SP production packages 

Avid MCBDDD S. MCIOOO on/off-line editing 

component Betacam SP on-line editing 

Microtime Paint F/X DL graphics 

Macintosh graphics & compositing 

component HiB transfers 

Betacam SP, 3/4" SP, HiB & VHS duplication 

25' x 3D' stage 

212.529.8204 

DV8VIDE0/738 BROHDWRV H V C 10 3 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 23 



Smoky 

Mountain/Nantahala 

Media Festival 



Call for submissions: 

Divisions: Film and Video, Audio, Scriptwriting, 

and CD Multimedia. 

Categories: Features, Drama and Short Fiction, 
Outdoor Themes, Docmentary, Experimental and 
Visual Arts, Animation and Graphic Arts, Industrial, 
Commercial and Student. 

Entry Fee: $10.00 Students 

$19.00 Non-students 

Additional Entries: $8.00 Students 

$10.00 Non-students 

Deadline: March 14, 1997,(March 28th $10 addl. 
Awards: over $1500 will be awarded. 
Special award in Outdoor Category this year. 
Make check payable to SPVVA, Inc. with SASE to: 

Smoky Mountain/Nantahala 

Media Festival 

Attn. Cynthia Potter, 

Festival Coordinator 

P.O Box 1068 

Bryson City, North Carolina 2871 3 

▲ tel. 704-488-2176 ext 185 

▲ fax 704-488-2403 



KITCHEN 
CINEMA 




^^Sig 



MEDIA nonlinear on-line 



editing suite 



111 
at 



affordable 

rates 

NTSC 8c PAL Beta SP 

LX/300kb resolution 

63 gig MicroNet Data Dock 

with automatic backup 

After Effects 
Editors available 



149 5™ AVE • NYC 
212 253 9472 




ers felt the festival wasn't prepared for its own 
growth. Fire marshals were called in when The 
Daytrippers' capacity-plus audience over- 
whelmed the theater. And Jon Sherman, whose 
film Breathing Room drew a full house despite a 
dramatic storm that knocked out much of East 
Hampton's power, says that he felt the festival 
often suffered from a failure to communicate. 

"I don't think they did a good job of letting 
us know what went on when. I didn't know 
what press were there. I didn't know if agents 
were there or not or if they got to my screen- 
ings," he says. "It felt kind of nebulous. It was 
hard to get in touch with people." 

However, Sherman is quick to add that he 
hardly blames the festival planners. "They're 
very nice people. Sam Maser was extraordinar- 
ily kind to us. I think they just weren't prepared 
for their growth." 

It's a fair assessment. Maser was hired just 
four months before the festival was scheduled 
to begin and, as she puts it, "I had to get the 
show on the road. '96 was not a year to recon- 
figure." As a result, the programs varied 
between independent titles in competition, 
premieres of small-scale studio releases with an 
independent feel (the Irish political drama 
Some Mother's Son and Nick Cassavetes' 
Unhook the Stars) and a tribute to Alan J. 
Pakula {Klute, All the President's Men, and the 
upcoming Devil's Own, starring Harrison Ford 
and Brad Pitt). And panels on filmmaking enti- 
tled "The Look," "The Story," and "The 
Sound" seemed designed more for audience 
members than aspiring filmmakers. 

There was also a high behind-the-scenes 
celebrity quotient in several short films. One of 



the short film sequences was built on celebri- 
ty shorts directed by Jeff Goldblum (Little 
Sunrises, which also was nominated for a 
1996 Academy Award) and Rob Lowe 
(American Untitled). Richard Dreyfuss' short 
Present Tense, Past Perfect and Angelica 
Huston's much-beleaguered Bastard Out of 
Carolina also made their debuts. 

A documentary jury composed of Michael 
Benson (Predictioris of Fire), John Reilly (co- 
founder and co-director of the Global 
Village Documentary Festival), and Chris 
Hegedus (The War Room) presented Nikita 
Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun) the 
Documentary Award for his film, Anna. 

Jury members for the dramatic competi- 
tion, which included actor Roy Scheider and 
director David O. Russell, selected Jay 
Chandrasekhar's Puddle Cruiser and Matt 
Mahurin's Mugshot to share the Starfish prize 
of more than $100,000 in production-related 
facilities, materials, and sen-ices provided by 
the likes of DuArt Film Laboratories, R.E.I. 
Media Group, and Tribeca Film Center. 

Mahurin, whose resume includes videos 
for Peter Gabriel, U2, REM, and David 
Byrne, photographs and illustrations for 
Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and The 
New York Times, and photographs in the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent 
collection, says that the award will be "very, 
very helpful." Laughing, he adds, "Of course, 
I don't think anything is as valuable as cash, 
but you have the opportunity to establish 
new relationships and you get the feeling 
that they're supportive." 

As for the future of his film, which 



24 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



screened at the Los Angeles Independent Film 
Festival and Prague International Film Festival 
before it came to the Hamptons, Mahurin says, 
"Some people got interested in it. But there 
hasn't been time for anything to become real." 

Meanwhile, Puddle Cruiser is gathering so 
much speed that it threatens to be the 
Hampton's breakthrough hit. "The head of 
ABC -TV was at the awards ceremony when we 
won and we had a screening in L.A. the week 
after," says Chandrasekhar, who made the film 
with the help of the Broken Lizard Comedy 
Group, the theater troupe he co-founded in 
1992. "CAA saw us at the [Independent 
Feature Film] Market and wanted to sign us 
then. Out of the Hamptons, we signed up with 
them, and the fact that Jamie Tarses was there, 
we signed a deal to do a pilot show with ABC." 

The former assistant to entertainment attor- 
ney John Sloss still seems stunned by his good 
fortune. "I'm getting to talk to Kevin Smith and 
David Russell and Chris Columbus — all these 
people who are seeing the movie and want to 
do something," says Chandrasekhar as he tight- 
ens his film for its appearance in Sundance's 
American Spectrum. "Having been on the out- 
side of the door for so long, it seems to open so 
wide." 

However, he notes that while he's honored 
by the generous services provided through the 
Hampton's Golden Starfish Award, there's a 
limit to his gratitude. "Obviously, [entering the 
Hamptons] wouldn't have been worth it if 
Sundance hadn't let us in." 

While Tabachnick might flinch at that 
assessment, he isn't necessarily looking to 
become the next Sundance — or any other festi- 
val, for that matter. "We look at parts of Berlin, 
Telluride, Sundance, New York, Cannes, 
Toronto — there are so many little elements of 
the way people do things that are interesting to 
us. We want to be an organization that the 
community and the industry can utilize. We 
hope to continue to bring films to the market- 
place, but we won't become like Rotterdam or 
Toronto. That's not our goal for the future. We 
are interested in films that have not found a 
home in the marketplace; premieres are not a 
concern. We're trying to serve as wide as group 
of films as possible." 

Adds Maser, "Hopefully, with Ken they'll 

have the continuity they need to move forward. 

I was there for a transitory time, and I'll be 

interested to see where they go from there." 

Dana Harris is managing editor of The Independent. 



CALL FOR WORK! 

Through 
the^T 

LENS - WYBE-TV35, 
Philadelphia's 
independent public television station, 
seeks work for a series featuring film 
and video from independent media 
artists from around the nation. This 
10-week series airs in prime time in 
the fall. All styles are welcome; shorts 
up to 30 minutes preferred; no works 
longer than 59 minutes. 

Acquisition fee: $25 per minute. 

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 15, 1997 

For an entry form, write: 

Through the Lens 7 

6070 Ridge Avenue 

Philadelphia, PA 19128-1604 

(215)483-3900 
(215)483-6908 



WYBE TV 



pj 




• Non linear editing as 
low as $475 

• Your place or ours 

• FREE training available 




*>o^ 



Tel 212.631.7463 
Fax 212.631.7423 

352 Seventh Avenue 
New York, NY 10001 




It all checks out... 



Experienced Editors 






Broadcast-Quality % 

Non-Linear Video Editing 





Graphics Compositing & Animation 
»OfMine" & "On-ilne" on one system 




Competitive, Affordable Rates 

-? I (ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS WELCOME) 



MEDIA 



F/f /f jAFWR ; 
lEFFECTSi 




Film & Mm 



NEW 



YORK 



(800) 807-4142 • (212) 226-1152 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 25 




OUT OF HIBERMIION 

Argentina s Mar del Plata Film Festival 
returns after a 26-year hiatus 



by Howard Feinstein 

"It's so difficult to get into that small 
fraction — something like 1.5 percent — of the 
American market for foreign-language pic- 
tures." That's Hector Olivera's {Funny Dirty 
Little War) fatalistic take on why U.S. distribu- 
tors took so little interest in the 12th Festival 
Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata, held 
November 7-16 in Argentina's legendary mid- 
dle-class seaside resort. "We invited Miramax 
and Sony Classics. Maybe the attitude is wait 
and see." 

The veteran Buenos Aires-based director is 
vice president of the festival, vice president of 
the nonprofit foundation that organizes it, and 
president of the Argentine producers' organi- 
zation — not to mention the most commercial- 
ly viable and internationally recognized pro- 
ducer-director in the country. (He is definitely 
the festival's in-house cinephile and intellectu- 
al.) Olivera's pessimistic view of the potential 
for Spanish-language movies to find a foothold 
in the U.S. might help explain why most of 
these films screened at the festival lacked sub- 
titles or simultaneous translation. 

This omission affected the large number of 
movies shown in Panorama del Cine Argentino 
and Pantalla Iberoamericana, plus a sprinkling 
of Latin American product in sections like 
Detras de la Camara (Behind the Camera), La 
Mujer y el Cine (Women and Film), Contra- 
campo (Reverse Shot) , and the official compe- 
tition itself (a mixed bag at best) . As one of two 
non-Spanish- speaking members of the 
FIPRESCI jury, a body of international critics 
mandated to give one prize for the competition 
and one for the Latin American selections, I 
fought for, and belatedly received, a wonderful 
live translator, who sat next to me in the cine- 
mas and spoke out loud. 

But what about the other international 
guests who speak the language and could 
potentially spread the word about this relative- 
ly invisible cinema? "We are not interested in 




one another's films," says Olivera. "Venezuelan 
films do not interest people in Argentina, for 
example. This is the main problem that we, a 
Spanish- speaking community of 300 million, 
face." He adds that in Argentina, the number 
of movie houses has decreased from 1,600 to 
300 in 10 years, and that "80 percent of the 
screens, and 90 percent in the rest of Latin 
America, are committed to Hollywood studio 



films." 

The festival, which ended a 26-year hiatus 
for what was once South America's largest 
and most prestigious film festival, focused its 
energy mostly on premiering international 
films (at least those that showed up on time 
or were not the victims of projector break- 
downs) ; deploying a mutant glamour formula 
to create a national media buz: (Gina 



26 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



Raquel Welch wasn't in a festival film, 

but she was paid to fly in for the 

opening ceremonies. 



Lollobrigida, Raquel Welch, and Jacqueline 
Bisset, none of whom were in a festival film, 
were paid and flown in for the kitschy open- 
ing night ceremony) ; and shamelessly build- 
ing the profiles of artistic director Oscar 
Barney Finn (a minor film director) and fes- 
tival president Julio Maharbiz, a close pal of 
Argentinian president Carlos Saul Menem (a 
much-disliked faux-Peronist whose attempts 
to privatize the nation's economy have dras- 
tically increased unemployment levels to 
nearly 20 percent nationally and 40 percent 
in Mar del Plata). The local papers accused 
Maharbiz, who is also president of the 
national film school, of pocketing some of 
the festival's huge $5 million budget (from 
federal, provincial, and local government 
sources) , while Finn went on stage at the gar- 
ish closing 
night festiv- 
ities to 
accept the 
$650,000 
first prize for 
Pilar Miro's 
Spanish film 

(The Dog in the Manger), while the movie's 
producer was seated in the audience. 

Still, the nine cinemas that screened near- 
ly 170 feature films were often packed, 
despite the fact that Mar del Plata, a fairly 
small city, is a long drive (400 kilometers) 
from Buenos Aires, which contains one -third 
of the nation's 33 million inhabitants. "Ten 
to twenty years ago, arthouses didn't exist in 
Argentina," says Olivera. "Films by Bergman, 
Fellini, and Ichikawa were shown successful- 
ly in commercial cinemas. Even last year, 51 
French films were shown in Argentina." A 
hungry domestic audience, presumably more 
accustomed to, and tolerant of, the kind of 
bureaucratic disorganization that plagued 
this festival, is clearly in place. The question 
is whether those at the top of the festival are 
willing to reassess its structure (inefficiently 
hierarchical, nepotistic) and priorities (self- 
promotion on the backs of filmmakers, cheap 
spectacles like fireworks, emphasis on 
imports rather than exports) . 

A few North American independent films 
made the competition this go-round: Dan 
Ireland's The Whole Wide World (Renee 
Zellweger took the Best Actress prize), 
Canadian Srinivas Krishna's Lulu, and 
Robert M. Young's Caught. Most of the Latin 
American films proved to be banal, techni- 
cally incompetent, or both, but a few pearls 



made life bearable. (Unfortunately, most are 
pretty unlikely to be shown in the U.S., save for 
an occasional national cinema retrospective at 
a place like New York's Walter Reade Theater. 
Pepe Vargas, director of the Chicago Latino 
Film Festival, was the only North American 
programmer at the festival.) The well-known 
Mexican director Arturo Ripstein, a fest juror, 
showed his brilliant black comedy Profondo 
Carmesi (Deep Crimson), based on the same 
true story about a fat woman and a slick gigolo 
who conspire to murder wealthy widows that 
inspired The Honeymoon Killers. 

All three juries gave awards to the magnifi- 
cent Buenos Aires Vice Versa, by Alejandro 
Agresti, who, until last year, was a politically 
motivated expatriate living in the Netherlands 
(still the source of much of his funding) . In the 

film, Agresti 
skillfully 
interweaves 
the tales of 
several sur- 
vivors of the 
period (1976- 
83) when the 
Argentine military ruled and tortured, with 
related stories of a younger generation still 
affected by its excesses. He makes it clear that 
you can't pin all the blame for the country's ills 
on right-wing rule: Cultural constants still in 
place threaten renewed repression. 

Two other remarkable Spanish-language 
films also received coproduction financing from 
Europe: Buenos Aires-born Martin Rejtman's 
Rapado {Cropped Head), a spare, almost 
Bressonian exercise in urban angst backed with 
money from Argentina and the Netherlands 
(with additional help from the Rotterdam 
Festival's Hubert Bals Fund); and renowned 
Peruvian filmmaker Francisco J. Lombardi's 
Bajo la Piel (Under the Skin), a sharp, Chabrol- 
like thriller about sex and jealousy in a remote 
village, which had help from a Spanish produc- 
tion company. (Word was excellent on two 
films with experimental narratives, unseen by 
this writer, by young Argentinian directors: 
Gustavo Mosquera-R's Moebius, a collaborative 
effort by Mosquera-R's film school students, 
and Esteban Sapir's 16mm Picado Fino (Minced 
Meat), a first feature.) The economic and spiri- 
tual future of good South American cinema 
depends on the ability of new filmmakers to 
work systems outside their own borders. The 
people at home have either given up or don't 
give a damn. 

Howard Feinstein is a New York-based film critic. 



NEW 

Digital Camera Rental 

Sony DCR VX1000 camcorder 

Digital, Hi-8 to BetaSP 
component transfer also available. 

$12/HR 

Sony 3 4" self-service editing 
with RM-450 controller 

AVID 

On-line, Off-line 

AVR 75 component from/to Beta SP 
Also digitize from/to D-2, 1", %", Hi-8, VHS 

Interformat on-line; 2-D, 3-D graphics; 

Multi-lingual translation; narration; 

and more... 




R.G. Video 
72 Madison Ave - 6 lh fl. 
New York, NY 10016 
(Btwn 27'" & 28 ,h Streets) 



tel: 212-213-0426 
fax: 212-213-0736 






L IFF ROT 



NEW! 

REVISED SECOND 
EDITION 



FREE 

Trial Offer! 

(30-day 

money-back 

guarantee) 



ITHEtt 



UDGE 



VIDEO 



BIBLE! 



Hi8, Mini DV, and S-VHS 

SECRETS REVEALED! 

THE LOW BUDGET VIDEO BIBLE 

The essential do-it-yourself guide to creating 

top-notch video on a shoestring budget 



Camcorders, editing, shooting 

strategies, formats, time code systems, 

audio tracks, nonlinear, desktop video, 

& much more! Over 450 pages. 



Call with credit-card, or send check/m.o. 

Just $27.95 plus $3.00 shipping 

(NY nsldonts add $2.3 Itax.) 



DESKTOP VIDEO SYSTEMS 

Box 668-Psck Slip Station 
New York, N.Y. 10272 



ORDER NOW! (24-hr) 
1-800-247-6553 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 27 




I LOVE PARIS WHEN IT SIZZLES 

Rencontres Internationale de Cinema a Paris 



by Wanda Bershen 

Arriving in Paris is like being set down in a 
candy store, not knowing which of its infinite 
pleasures to sample first. As the home of seri- 
ous cinephiles par excellence, one glance at the 
weekly Pariscop (the equivalent of Time Out 
New York) requires choosing among the over- 
whelming variety of treats displayed on the 350 
movie screens in the City of Light. And hard as 
it may be to believe, 100 of those are the equiv- 
alent of "art cinemas" in the U.S. We are defi- 
nitely not in Kansas anymore. 

Equally amazing is the fact that there are 
130 million filmgoers in France, of whom 21 
million attend arthouse theaters, which num- 
ber 850 nationwide. That is close to 17 percent 
of the viewing public. And it turns out that this 
cornucopia of screens and the hordes of eager 
viewers are just the beginning of the story. The 
Center National de Cinematographic (CNC), 
a division of the Ministry of Culture devoted to 
the support of film production, distribution, 
and exhibition, receives funds annually via an 
11 percent tax on every film ticket sold. In 
effect every ticket yields about 85 cents that 
goes back into the till for the next year's pro- 
ductions, coproductions, and distribution — 
adding up to roughly $110 million annually. 

One of the most exciting new events made 
possible by these extraordinary (from an 
American viewpoint) cultural funding prac- 
tices is the Rencontres Internationale de 
Cinema a Paris (The International Festival of 
Cinema in Paris), held October 9-20, 1996, at 
the Videotheque de Paris. The Videotheque is 
a marvel in itself, a full-scale cinematheque 
established and funded in part through the 
Office of the Mayor of Paris, lying under an 
open pedestrian plaza called Forum-Les Halles, 
about a 10-minute walk from the Seine. An 
impressive facility, it has three screening rooms 
equipped for all formats of film and tape, a 
library of 5,600 films on tape, a viewing room 
with 40 carrels, and a cybercafe with 10 corn- 




Festival directors Michel Reilhac and Marie-Pierre Macia. Photo: Theresa Murphy 



puter stations. The center's beautifully printed 
program calendar describes a year's worth of 
imaginative thematic series and special events. 
An equally handsome catalog tor the festival 
makes it clear that this is an ambitious and 
well-supported organization. 

The Rencontres was established in 1995 by 
Michel Reilhac, director of the Videotheque, 
and Marie-Pierre Macia, program director for 
the festival, with the explicit aim of introduc- 
ing the work of new directors from throughout 
the world to the public and the industry. 
Helping these films find French distribution is 
their major priority, and the results so far have 
been excellent. Of the 31 films presented in 
1995 (including 6 shorts and 25 documentary 
and dramatic features), 1 1 found theatrical dis- 
tributors during or after the Rencontres. This 
year's program was substantially larger, totaling 
50 films (33 features and 17 shorts). 

Given a box office increase of 22 percent 
over 1995 and its youthful audience (60 per- 



cent are under 25), the Rencontres is shaping 
up to be a very successful showcase for the 
work of new directors. The organizers do 
major outreach to get industry professionals 
to attend the screenings, seminars, and 
receptions, and they help set up meetings for 
the directors with distributors, sales agents, 
programmers, and producers while they are 
in Paris. Press coverage in print, radio, and 
television is rewardingly extensive. Clearly 
the organizers know how to get the word out, 
an essential part of giving these films a prop- 
er launch. The festival offered an excellent 
series of morning seminars on funding policy, 
production, distribution, building audiences, 
and working with new technologies. These 
provided concrete information about how- 
things work in France and other European 
countries, and are beginning to explore how 
things work in the U.S. as well. 

The Rencontres is committed to building 
an international network of independents, 



28 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



and this year included a fascinating case study 
by Turbulent Arts' Mark Smolowitz of his 
experience opening the French film Bye Bye in 
New York City. A terrific first feature by Karim 
Didi, which benefited enormously by being 
chosen as the opening night film of the New 
Directors/New Films festival, B)>e Bye gar- 
nered rave reviews. However, after one week- 
end of respectable but not sensational box 
office in a New York arthouse, the film was 
bumped in order to make room for a film from 
a large distributor. Bye Bye did go on to open 
in several other cities, and Didi found his U.S. 
experience useful and remarked how 
impressed he was with the curiosity and pro- 
fessionalism of American journalists. 

Another interesting discussion was offered 
by Caroline Benjo and Carole Scotta of the 
French arthouse distributor Haut et Court. In 
1995 they received funds from the French 
Ministry of Culture to travel in the U.S. for 
three months in order to survey the distribu- 
tion environment for foreign films. They are 
preparing a report which will constitute an 
interesting and current survey of the U.S. mar- 
ket for foreign films. The two distributors 
came back with a strong sense of the difficul- 
ties encountered by foreign film distributors in 
the U.S. These smaller companies are trying to 
compete in a marketplace glutted with large 
distributors who can afford to advertise every 
week (thus getting discounted rates), which 
makes their films far less risky for even the 
most sympathetic exhibitors. 

In contrast to this free -market approach, 
France makes funds available via several agen- 
cies to distributors like Haut et Court for 
things like making prints. These funds are 
competitive, awarded on the basis of a film's 
quality and the promotion plan presented. 
Distributors can also receive funds from the 
CNC after a film has been distributed based 
on the number of admissions sold. Additional 
support for distribution expenses can come 
through the union of theaters and an associa- 
tion of arthouses. 

North American indies have done well at 
the Rencontres. After the first festival in 
1995, five films found French distributors for a 
theatrical run. These were The Addiction 
(directed by Abel Ferrara), Doom Generation 
(Gregg Araki), The Secret of Roan Inish (John 
Sayles), Careful (Guy Maddin), and Crumb 
(Terry Zwickoff). This year's Rencontres 
included Ferrara's The Funeral, Alan Taylor's 
Palookaville, Ed Burns' She's the One, and four 
strong shorts. Negotiations with various Paris- 



COMING IN JUNE OF 1997 

FIVF'S SECOND 

SUMMER SEMINAR/WORKSHOP SERIES 



Producing Independent 
Films & Videos 

The In's & Out's of Financing 
Films & Videos 



Music For Independents: 

Original Composition vs Music Licensing 



How To Write a 
Successful Grant Proposal 



International Financing from 
the Filmmaker's Perspective 



Stay tuned for registration info in the April Independent. 



Eonjour! Monsieur Thomas Edison at your service. 

Death has not slowed me down. I've recently discovered 

that Hots Shots Cool Cuts has the most fantastique 

International location footage. From Tokyo to Timbuktu 

over 100 hrs. of landmarks, aerials, cityscapes, & culture. 

Around zee world, they've got it all. I heartily recommend 

Hot Shots Cool Cuts for all your International footage needs. 

Vive la stock cinematique internationale!!! 




INTERNATIONAL 

CONTEMPORARY 

ARCHIVAL 

k t^jlA Mr 



\ PHONE: (212) 799-9100 ,? 
FAX: (212)799-9258 | 



The stock footage company whose stock footage doesn't look like stock footage 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



2 i 2 . 3 4 3 • ] ^ 5 ° 



OPEN CITY 



Affordable Avid off-line Editing 
36 gigabytes of storage 
Beautiful Soho location 
Skylight and bucolic court yard 



EDIT 



OPEN CITY FILMS, INC. 

198 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013 



n 




Washington, D.C, 

It's not WHAT 
you know. 

It's WHO you know & 



WHERE you go to school. 

Learn HOW to make the right connections 

and experience the academic challenge 

WHEN you enroll in American University's 

MA in Film & Video Program. 

AU offers award-winning faculty, alumni, students, and 

real-life experience at places like the Discovery Channel, 

National Geographic, and major news networks. Call 

TODAY about fellowships, assistantships, and admission. 



Contact: American University 

School of Communication 

Graduate Programs 

202-885-2060 

Fax: 202-885-2099 

e-mail: jdougla@american.edu 

www: http://www.american.edu 

rmative action university 




AMERICAN 
UNIVERSITY 



based distributors and sales agents are in 
progress and look good as this goes to press. 

Talking with Reilhac and Macia about dif- 
ferences in taste on our respective sides of the 
Atlantic was interesting. American indies are 
trendy with the young French crowd at pre- 
sent, but while Welcome to the Dollhouse and 
Denise Calls Up were big hits in France, Living 
in Oblivion and Walking and Talking bombed. 
Even 25-year-olds are particular in the City of 
Light. 

Three prizes were awarded this year. Two 
films received the Prix Georges and Ruta 
Sadoul for first and second features: Biography 
of a Young Accordionist (S. Narymbetos, 
Kazakhstan) and Reprise (Herve Le Roux, 
France). Both will receive substantial support 
tor lab costs and advertising to aid their distri- 
bution in France. The Grand Prix du Public 
went to the audience favorite, Le Moindre des 
Choses, a documentary set in a psychiatric clin- 
ic as preparations are made for a theater per- 
formance. The film will receive lab services, 
free advertising, and some cash — all towards its 
distribution in France. All three will likely be 
regarded as far too specialized for U.S. distribu- 
tion other than at festival showings, much less 
to a youth audience. Another indication of the 
nature and breadth of audience taste here is 
the list of runners-up for the Audience 
Favorite, which included (in order of prefer- 
ence) Fire (Deepa Mehta), Palookaville, Frantz 
Fanon (Isaac Julien), and Grains of Sand (R. 
Hashiguchi). 

Future plans are to continue the Rencontres 
as a showcase tor fresh new work from around 
the globe without letting it grow too large. 
Right now, the quality ot personal attention is 
refreshingly high. The delicious lunch with 
wine served daily after the seminars offers a 
truly civilized opportunity to meet and talk 
with professional colleagues. That kind of hos- 
pitality permeates everything about the 
Rencontres and Videotheque. These people 
really love film — and filmmakers — and will go 
to the mat for you. If you ever get an invitation 
from them, clear your schedule and get on a 
plane. Distribution deal or no, you'll come 
back feeling rewarded personally and profes- 
sionally — indeed a rare festival experience. 

Wanda Bershen was director of the Broadcast Archive 

and International Film Festival at the Jewish Museum 

1989-95. She established Red Diaper Productiom in 

1 995 to work with international film and TV as an 

independent curator, distributor, production consultant, 

and writer. 



30 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



• EDIT IN NEW ORLEANS • 

POST IN THE BEST 
OF THREE WORLDS! 

LIVE 

in a great New Orleans apartment near 
the streetcar line and enjoy the French 
Quarter, the Mississippi River, the best 
(and cheapest!) food on the planet, and 
countless other inspirational stimuli 

OFFLINE 

your project on the AVID 400 or the 

Media 100, on your own (we can train 

you!) or with an experienced, caring, and 

careful editor (we're independents too!) 

ONLINE 

your project on the Media 100 and walk 
away with a finished tape 

daily, weekly, and monthly rates 

(504) 895-1945 
arielworc@aol.com 

Ariel Montage, Inc. 
NEW ORLEANS 



diversity 



By independents. 

D/WS/9N 




vision. 



for independents. 

pxwxns 



Diversity of experience and culture. We're a multicultural house & our work reflects this. 
Creative young staff with REAL credits. HBO, MTV, FOX, CBS, PBS. Check our reel; 
Film/video long form documentary and narrative, music video, promos and spots. 



Introducing the StrataSphere 

Digital & component in/out Abekas digital keyer CMX 3600 EDL support 
Alpha channel w/each layer of video 50 layers of video for compositing / DVE 
Abekas DVEOUS online digital effects, real time, better than Kscope 
Networked to graphics station w/ Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and 3D 



Dvision/Avid for long format film/video 
NT/Perception for animation 
BCSP Broadcast & 16/Super 16mm pkgs. 



INTRODUCTORY RATES/DISCOUNTS FOR INDEPENDENTS AND STUDENTS 



138 E. 26th St. NYC 212-481-3393 (voice) 481-9899 (fax) 




Scriptware is the best!" 

JL (of the Writers Guild of Americ 



The pro's choice! 

Professional script writers demand two things: 
They need to get their ideas onto the page 
easily and quickly-anything between your 
brainstorm and the paper kills your creativity. 
And they need their scripts in the proper for- 
mat-if it doesn't look right, your script ends up 
in some secretary's trash can instead of in your 
producer's eager hands! 

With Scriptware, your story flies onto the 
page. And the formatting that Hollywood 
expects happens instantly and automatically! 
All you need are your pinkies and the Tab and 
Enter keys to create a perfectly formatted script. 
It's easier than a typewriter! Type character 
names and scene headings with just one key- 
stroke. Scriptware does all the margin changes, 
spacing changes, capitalizing and page breaking 
for you! Make changes on page one and 
Scriptware makes sure the rest of your script is 
still just right. You just write-Scriptware keeps 
your script ready to print, submit and sell! 



Get exactly what you need! 

Scriptware Lite or Scriptware Pro. Both are 
full-featured word processors that get your 
story on the page and your name on the screen. 
Lite comes in two different versions-Film for 
movies and filmed TV shows (e.g. 1-hour dra- 
mas), and Sitcom for taped TV shows. Lite 
includes a 100,000+ word dictionary and it lets 
you import scripts you've already written. Pro 
lets you write in every format there is and lets 
you modify and create new formats, too. It also 
has a 120,000+ word thesaurus, revision han- 
dling, Notes and Outline features, instant Title 
Page creation, and other powerful writer's tools. 




Scriptware's lists let you type names with just one keystroke! And with 
Scriptware, what you see is what you get! Scriptware shows you exactly 
what your script will look like when you print it-page breaks, headers, 
footers, revison marks, A&B pages and more! Pull-down menusandcon- 
text-sensitive help make using Scriptware's powerful features a breeze! 



Journal 

(of the Writers Guild of America, West) 

Rave Reviews! 

Scriptware is the software of choice at studios 
and production companies. Just listen to 
what the pros say about Scriptware: 

Si Scriptware is in a class by itself. The 
easiest to master. Others nardlycompare." 

Tracy Clark 
The New York Screenwriter 

ei 'Simply the best there is. Just add words." 

Larry Hertzog 

Nowhere Man,SeaQuest 

(l Nothing approaches it in ease of use." 

Peter Coyote 

Writer/Actor 

Si The best tool for scriptwriting, period." 

Hy Bender 
Essential Software for Writers 

The price is right! 

Order today and get Scriptware for a special 
price! Or try our demo for FREE (normally 
$9.95). Experience Scriptware and the freedom 
to create for as little as $129.95 with a 30-day 
money-back guarantee!. To order, or for more 
info, visit us on the web or call today! 
http ://scriptware.com 
CALL TOLL-FREE 800-788-7090!^ 

Scriptware requires: 100% [BM compatible computer 180286 ur higk-n • 640K RAM • 

DOS version 2.1 or higher » I HD floppy drive and I hard drive • Mouse optional. 
©1995 Cinovauon, Inc. 1750 30th St., Sle. 360. Boulder, CO 80303 303-786-7899 Fax x-9292 



The Cat 

Greg Mottola & 
The Daytrippers 




< Director Greg Mottola, who labored seven long years to 
get his debut feature made and Into theaters. 

Photo: K.C. Bailey, all photos courtesy CFP 



by Patricia Thomson 



q 



N DAY ONE OF THE DAYTRIPPERS' 16-DAY SHOOT, DP JOHN INWOOD was 
loading up the truck when he noticed a case was missing. With a sinking feeling 
he realized it was the most important case — the one containing the camera. He 
had no doubt some of New York City's notorious camera thieves had been at work. 

"There we are, with no camera," Inwood recalls. "We didn't freak out, partial- 
ly because we were literally in shock. We just kept ourselves busy trying to do 
something productive." So they started lighting and had three scenes done by the 
time a replacement camera arrived several hours later. 

Nonetheless, the stolen Aaton felt like the kiss of death. "Talk about omens," 
says Inwood. "But when we survived the first day, it was a good omen. We actual- 
ly had the day's shot, in spite of that." 

And so it went for The Daytrippers. Time and again, from preproduction 
through its long distribution quest, it would seem about to bite the dust, then it 
would spring to its feet again, like a cat with nine lives. 

While The Daytrippers offers its share of micro-budget tips, its most important 
lesson is one of longevity. Although the film's director, Greg Mottola, appears to 
be another fresh young face suddenly popping up on the indie charts, this 32-year- 
old has actually pushed his rock up the hill for seven long years, if one goes all the 
way back to the day he first got a call from director Steven Soderbergh and pro- 
ducer Nancy Tenenbaum offering to executive produce his debut feature. 

Seven years and nine lives later, The Daytrippers is finally bowing in theaters. 
But it's more than luck that got it there; it's old-fashioned persistence, endurance, 
and, not incidentally, Mottola's considerable knack for writing and directing com- 
edy. 

The Daytrippers is a suburban road movie set on the Long Island Expressway 
and the streets of Manhattan. It tells the story of a young wife, Eliza D'Amico 
(Hope Davis), who finds what appears to be a love letter to her husband, Louis 
(Stanley Tucci). At a loss, she shows it to her mom (Anne Meara), who insists she 
confront her husband with it — in person. So Eliza heads to Manhattan, accompa- 
nied by her whole family: overbearing mom, hen-pecked dad (Pat McNamara), 
visiting sis (Parker Posey), and her pretentious boyfriend (Liev Schreiber). They 
arrive at Louis's office only to discover he left work early. But rifling through his 
desk, they find an incriminating photo of him with a woman. Borrowing tech- 
niques from Matlock, the family follows his trail, staking out the blue door visible 
in the photo, until they finally catch up with him and learn the truth in the film's 
surprise denouement. 

It's a fairly simple plot. What makes The Daytrippers so appealing is its clever 
writing, laced with great one-liners and shaggy dog stories. But what grows on you 




is its astute portrait of complicated family dynamics, and 
its running theme ot the lies people tell — to themselves as 
well as to others. The Daytrippers is a comedy with content. 
It's much like its maker — smart but unassuming, sincere 
but unsentimental. But pity Mottola's mother if she had as 
difficult a birth as he did with this baby. 



T 



HE INFAMOUS BLUE DOOR IS ACTUALLY THE ENTRY TO 
Mottola's Soho apartment building. On this grey 
November day, his apartment is quiet and cozy, not the 
whirlwind of activity it was during production, when it 



32 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



housed craft services (coffee and 50 cent cookies), while his neighbor 
across the hall provided the sole dressing room. Film memorabilia, 
books, and scripts are scattered about. There's Louise Brooks on the 
screensaver; a poster of Citizen Kane glaring above the kitchen table; 
and volumes of Fellini lining the bookshelves ("my biggest hero," says 
Mottola). A quiet type with steel wire -rims and hereditary baby- 
smooth baldness, Mottola recalls how growing up in Huntington, Long 
Island, he obsessively wrote plays and comic books. Thanks to his par- 




ents — a middle manager at the Long Island Lighting Company and a 
housewife — Mottola also got a healthy dose of Hollywood's Golden 
Era. "My father would tell me to watch stuff on TV, like Fred Astaire." 
His epiphany came when his parents took him to a double -feature of 
Bananas and Play It Again Sam. "I was 1 1 and really digging it. That 
was the first time I took film seriously," he says. 

Mottola didn't head directly to film school, but became a studio art 
major at Carnegie Mellon. Since it didn't offer film courses, he bought 
a wind-up Bolex and started learning the basics at Pittsburgh 
Filmmakers under the tutelage of Tony Buba. 

"I started making very immature films," the director recalls with a 



laugh. These included a horror thriller, "because I knew I wanted to 
get it out of my system, so I would never do it again. I called it Man 
Being Chased in the Woods by a Psycho Killer. It ended in some really 
absurd way, where the two actors fall out of character and get angry at 
the director and tell him to grow up." 

Five more shorts followed, including a "surrealist, mini-Bunuel film" 
and a stab at working-class realism ("an earnest and boring movie"). 
While in Pittsburgh, he also had his one and only experience as a PA 
on a commercial film. "I worked for a 
week on Day of the Dead making fake 
zombie vomit," Mottola says. Then he 
headed to film school at Columbia 
University. It was here he hit his stride, 
making the short that ultimately paved 
the way to The Daytrippers. 

Swingin in the Painter's Room (1989) 
already contains the types who populate 
The Daytrippers: cheating couples, artsy- 
fartsy poseurs, and heart-broken inno- 
cents. The film is set entirely in one 
room — an artist's bedroom, where people 
throw their coats during a party. People 
come and go; they seduce, succumb, 
repel, do mischief, steal, eavesdrop, and 
change partners, all in 13 minutes. In 
homage to Hitchcock's Rope, the black- 
and-white film was set up as one continu- 
ous take. That's a trick one might expect 
out of a clever film student, but what's 
most invigorating is its fresh dialogue, 
identifiable characters, and true comic 
flair. 

An agent spotted the film at a showcase 
of Columbia student work and sent it to 
Steven Soderbergh. "I thought it was 
absolutely hilarious," recalls the director, 
who at that time was on the cusp of his 
own breakthrough, with sex, lies & video- 
tape. He in turn passed it on to his execu- 
tive producer, Nancy Tenenbaum. "Most 
students were spending fifteen to twenty 
thousand dollars — essentially their entire 
trust funds," she says. "Greg had nothing. 
In working with nothing, I found that he 
had told a very funny, effective, interest- 
ing story. To me that was incredibly 
impressive." 

"We called him up," Soderbergh continues, "and said, Are you plan- 
ning to write a feature-length script/' and he said 'Yeah.' " Mottola was 
halfway through Lush Life, which he describes as "a quasi Sweet Smell 
of Success — La Dolce Vita story" about "a few weeks in the life of a jour- 
nalist — his personal life and a specific kind of celebrity puff piece he's 
writing and how these various strands of his life all crash together." 

Lush Life seemed like an ace in the hole. Soderbergh and 
Tenenbaum gave it credibility, actors Campbell Scott and Anabella 
Sciorra signed on, and the 1992 Sundance Filmmakers and 
Screenwriters Lab accepted it, giving it that extra cachet. But for near- 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 33 




ly three maddening years, it went nowhere. "It was disheartening, 
because we developed it to death, just on our own, and I don't think 
we made it any better," says Soderbergh. In Mottola's opinion, 
investors were leery of his greenhorn status combined with the $1.5 to 
2 million budget (necessitated by multiple party scenes calling for 600 
extras), and were put off by its ambiguous ending. In Soderbergh's view, 
"I think there's clearly a problem at the center of that script that we 
have not solved. No matter how much we rewrote it, we couldn't 
unlock it. I know that's true now, because when we told Greg, 'Just 
write something we can shoot guerrilla style,' he wrote The Daytrippers 
in four weeks, and everyone who read it said, 'This works!' There was 
none of that uneasiness like, 'Gee, why don't I feel blah, blah, blah." 
We knew just, great, let's go." 

Like sex, lies & videotape, which essentially has four characters and 
three settings, Mottola's new script was tightly contained — a small cast 
and a handful of locations, virtually all of which were donated by cast, 
family, or friends. And it was to be shot on Super 16mm. 

To get the ball rolling, Tenenbaum and Soderbergh gathered 
$60,000 from their own pockets and a small circle of supporters 
(including Campbell Scott and }uice producer David Heyman, among 
others). But as soon as they ventured outside this group, the project 
threatened to mutate. "Immediately people were asking for changes in 
the script, cast changes," says Mottola. (Robert Mitchum came up in 
one conversation.) Ultimately, says the director, the amount they 
would add "was not enough money to change a script for." So they 
stuck to their original no-frills plan. By late 1994 — five years after 
Soderbergh and Tenenbaum first made contact — Mottola had a script 
that hummed, a cast of up-and-coming indie actors, and $60,000 in 
the till. His feature debut was finally off and running. 



Oh, Light of My Life 

DP John Inwood shot The Daytrippers with an 
Aaton camera and super 16 Kodak — his first 
feature using this stock. "You have to he very 
careful with focus," he cautions, "and need to 
overexpose for a nice, dense negative. You 
have to get the exposure right, because there's 
less tolerance — you have to go this extra gen- 
eration and enlarge it so much." 

The following is The Daytrippers' compact 
lighting package, devised for a compact crew: 



4 Inkys 
2 Tweenies 
2 750 Babies 
1 Baby 2K 
1 Mighty Mole 
1 Baby 5K 



1 200 watt HMI fresnel 

2 575 watt HMI fresnel 
2 1200 watt HMI par 

2 4' 4 bulb Kinoflos 
2 4' 2 bulb Kinoflos 
2 2' 2 bulb Kinoflos 
2 6" 12 volt Miniflos 



34 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



o. 



r so it seemed. Then the camera was stolen. After that, the 
lead actress broke her ankle tripping on a roll of gaffer's tape, a PA 
caught pneumonia standing in the cold November drizzle, and the DP 
bruised his rib while contorting inside the station wagon, where they 
shot for five days. The cast was lucky; they survived the Long Island 
Expressway. "It's amazing that we all lived through this," says Hope 
Davis. "Pat McNamara was driving, who really is just like the father — 
changing lanes without looking, with trucks whizzing by." 

Budgetarily, a camera car was out of the question. So everyone sim- 
ply piled into the station wagon, a mildewy, noisy old tank that 
Tenenbaum eventually sold for $75. "There were about 16 people in 
that car," Davis says, with minimal exaggeration. "The truth is," 
Mottola says, "I really wanted it to seem claustrophobic; I wanted the 
camera to be in there with them, in everyone's 
face." 

He got his wish, and no one could blame 
Mottola if he felt the most claustrophobic, 
squeezed in the back of the station wagon 
between the sound equipment and crew. "We 
had to put an Army blanket over Greg's head," 
says Davis, "because we would catch a reflec- 
tion of his bald head in the windows and rear- 
view mirrors." So Mottola directed sight unseen 
from under a blanket, shouting lines over the 
drone of the engine as they swerved down the 
LIE. Forget guerrilla production, this was 
kamikaze filmmaking. 

Yet Parker Posey can say without a trace of 
irony, "This is the lowest-budget movie I've 
done, and it was very smooth shooting." 

Inwood concurs. "It was very challenging — 
and yet there was a certain calm and profes- 
sionalism about it. Greg is a pretty remarkable 
guy because he hasn't directed all that much, 
but he's very calm on set. He doesn't freak out; 
he knows what he wants and he really understands his writing — how 
he wants to put in on screen." 

The cast loved him. "He left actors a lot of space," says Anne 
Meara. "He wouldn't clutter it up with a lot of murky directory things. 
He'd say, 'Maybe a little more' or A little less.' A director is basically 
looking at the total picture; he's not an acting coach." 

"Actors have this incredible resource, and that is the other actors," 
Liev Schreiber says. "Greg allowed that. I think Greg was in such awe 
of his cast — he loved his cast so much — they would act and he'd just 
go, 'Yeah, yeah, go ahead, whatever you want.' Given that slack, actors 
can either destroy a film or make it great. And this was a group of 
actors who were very conscious about making it as good as they could. 
It was fun." 

They also liked the fast pace — up to 12 pages a day. "Two takes and 
move on," says Parker Posey. According to Davis, "Shooting fast is 
great for the actors, because you're able to do a huge scene in a day and 
get a through-line." However, she acknowledges, "the crew really suf- 
fers." 

"Crew? What crew?" jokes Inwood. The only regulars, aside from 
the producer, production manager, and production coordinator, were 




three of Inwood's friends who served as gaffer (Sean Sheridan), key 
grip (Keith Devlin), and camera assistant (Luke Eder). "Otherwise, it 
was literally grip du jour, sound person du jour," he says. 

What kept Inwood and Mottola from losing their minds was pre- 
planning, "so we didn't have to relight," says Inwood. Equally impor- 
tant was a lighting package a small group could handle [see box p. 34]. 
Inwood relied on "a Kinoflo 12-volt kit that you plug into a lighter. 
Kinoflos are a popular light now — a high intensity fluorescent unit 
that's color corrected. It's a flattering soft light. Since we were in small 
spaces and had to light fast, these were great. They made it possible to 
work fast and make it look pretty good." 

"Pretty good" is a vast improvement over the bare bones, guerrilla- 
style approach Mottola started with — "not even put up a light bulb in 
the middle of the set," says Inwood. "It wouldn't look good, but as long 
as we got an image, he'd have a film. But I said, 'No, we don't have to 
do that.' 

"After the first set of dailies, we all began to 
realize, hey, this film is bigger than we thought," 
Inwood continues. "It's a real film, not just 'run 
around with a camera and a light on a stick.' 
This is going to look like something." 



I, 



f Mottola saw the light at the end of the tun- 
nel when production wrapped in early 1995, it 
was a cruel mirage. Another year and a half 
passed before The Daytrippers found domestic 
theatrical distribution. Worse, the film hit a wall 
early on and very nearly vanished into video 
store oblivion. 

The initial game plan was to screen a direc- 
tor's cut with temp music to distributors in New 
York and LA. "This was possibly a mistake," 
Mottola admits, "though we did need money [to 
finish] and almost made a deal." 

Initially, people went wild for it, and numerous 
distributors threw their hats in the ring. They 
took the largest offer — $ 1 million — and a deal memo was to arrive on 
Tenenbaum's desk that Monday. But on Tuesday, "that company with- 
drew the offer," says Mottola. "Then one by one, everyone else with- 
drew their offers. In four days, I went from ecstatic to suicidal." 

Pack paranoia had set in among distributors. As Tenenbaum 
describes it, "The people who were screaming about it — saying it was 
the best movie they'd ever seen, couldn't believe it was available, and 
wanted it no matter what — were the same people who were saying, 
'Well, maybe it's a difficult movie to market.' They started to think, 'If 
this company reneged, maybe we should have cold feet, too.' " In the 
end, she says, "We felt like we were left with damaged goods." 

But they still needed money to finish the sound work, music, titles, 
editing, and blow-up. Some new investors were interested, but had so 
many conditions attached — control of the negative, an outrageous 
return on their investment — that they passed. "So in the spirit of the 
way we started it, we ended it," says Tenenbaum. The original investors 
doled out some more cash, then the whole lot of them begged favors, 
deferments, and bargains of every vendor and post house they knew. 

The next blow was a rejection by Sundance. The director opted to 
go to Slamdance and even came away with the Grand Jury Prize, but 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



Finding Stock Footage 



that's delivered quickly, 
on budget and with superior 
quality isn't an urban myth it 



takes Energy. 



the Largest an J Most Unique 

Collection ^/Original Cinematography 

m the World 



WlflliilLU 

l.&OO.IMAGERY/orYour Most Valuable Resourc. 




HIGH If] 

Graphics & Animation 
for Feature Films, TV, Print 

%*» HIGH SPEED 

ID Rendering 





that didn't help. 
"The problem was, 
all the distributors 
had seen the rough- 
cut, and they didn't 
care to see it again" 
Mottola explains. 
"They didn't come 
to Slamdance — not 
for us. So we were 
kind of written off," 
he says. "Things 
were really grim." 

The next two 
months were quiet 
— unnervingly so. 
Then Alliance In- 
ternational came 
aboard as foreign 
sales agent, The 
Daytrippers was ac- 
cepted into Cannes, 
and the hex was 
broken. Another 
couple of domestic 
offers trickled in 
before the festival, 

but one was too small to afford and the other too weasely to stick with. "It was a constant nego- 
tiation, reneging, negotiation, reneging," Tenenbaum recalls with exasperation. "We also found 
they were making excuses even before we started about why this movie is potentially going to 
fail." They took a gamble and rejected it. "I'm pretty sure they would have given it a bad release 
or dumped this straight to video," Mottola explains. 

The Daytrippers came away from Cannes with sales to Italy and France, and many more 
European sales have followed in waves. "It was surreal," says Mottola. "I thought it would only 
get distribution in the U.S.," where he ended up having the toughest time. "Cannes was a great, 
lucky thing for me," he adds. "I'm thinking in the future, I'll probably go to Europe for financ- 
ing. Theoretically, if there is an audience outside of the U.S., it gives me a little leverage, inso- 
far as I'm not absolutely beholden to go to Hollywood and say, 'Okay, I'll cast it the way you 
want to cast it, and I'll write the ending the way you see it.' I really do want to write and direct 
my own stuff and keep it small and make movies at a logical budget, so they make back their 
money, but don't have to be blockbusters." 

Shortly after Cannes, The Daytrippers finally found its domestic distributor: Cinepix Film 
Properties (CFP), in conjunction with Columbia/Tri Star Home Video. While their $100,000 
advance was less than previous offers, says Mottola, "ultimately I'm really glad we held out. 
They care much more about how the film does theatrically." (Between this and foreign sales, all 
technical deferments and cast have already been paid; the crew will also get their due, 
Tenenbaum assures. All told, the film wound up costing in the ballpark of $500,000.) 

The picture brightened even further after The Daytrippers' screening at the Toronto 
International Film festival. This was the first time CFP saw it with an audience — and the 
crowds loved it. "I could tell their thinking about the film evolved," says Mottola. "They were 
seeing it as something that could go a little more broadly." 

If there's a silver lining to The Da;ytnppers' long and drawn-out distribution saga, it's that its 
stars have risen in the meantime, boosting The Daytrippers theatrical prospects. Stanley Tucci 
and Campbell Scott had their Big Night, and Liev Schreiber became hot in Walking and Talking 
and Ransom. At Sundance this year, Hope Davis starred in Michael Lindsay-Hogg's Guy and 
Bart Freundlich's The Myth of Fingerprints, while Parker Posey racked up four films, yanking the 
crown from Lili Taylor: The House of Yes by Mark Waters (for which she received a special prize 



36 THE INDEPENDENT March 1997 




for acting) ; The 
Clockwatchers by 
Jill Sprecher; Sub- 
Urbia by Richard 
Linklater; and 
Waiting for Guff- 
man by Christo- 
pher Guest. 

Meanwhile, 
Mottola feels like 
he's having an 
out-of-body expe- 
rience. "What's 
surreal is I got to 
meet Mike Leigh 
this year, I met 
Robert Altman, I 
had dessert with 
Al Pacino. It's 
like, whose life am 
I living?" 

Though the 
struggle may be 
over (until the 
next film) , it's not 
likely Mottola will 
forget his former 
life, nor the people who stuck by him all those 
years. "Nancy [Tenenbaum] gets the primary 
credit for the day-to-day fight to see that the 
film gets released and not fall off the face of 
the earth — because it came close to that," 
Mottola says. The two are partnering up on 
his future projects. 

He's equally grateful to Soderbergh, who, 
like Tenenbaum, didn't make a red cent for 
years on The Day trippers. "It's given me a per- 
spective," says Mottola. "I've been struggling 
for a long time to get anything produced sort 
of on my own terms, so I've rejected a lot of 
potential opportunities. If as a result of this 
film I'm able to have a career, I'd definitely 
think seriously about what Steven did for me 
and pass that along. I don't know if I would 
have thought that way. I look at someone like 
Woody Allen whom I admire so much, and he 
doesn't do anything for anybody; he just 
makes his movies. But Steven is incredibly 
prolific, and he still found time to help me 
out." In an industry not noted for its altruism, 
this is perhaps the most important lesson 
Mottola learned from The Daytrippers. "I feel 
really lucky," he purrs. 

Independent editor Patricia Thomson wrote about 
Steve Buscemi's Trees Lounge in the October issue. 



UPTOWN AVID 

AVID 8000 AVID 1000 * AVID 400 

Beautiful Rooms - Low Rates 

Pro Tools - 4 Channel Input/Output 

Ohree Convenient [locations 




NOW WITH AVR 75 



Bleecker 




AVID Prices Killing You? Call Code 16: (212) 496-1118 




in 



Mas 



Greenwic 
Villag 

ter of Arts 



Each year The New School Master of Arts in 
Media Studies program provides students with 
maps of the global village. Over its 20 year 
history, the Media Studies program has 
emphasized both theory and practice in film, 
video, audio and digital media. The program's 
approach to media studies is multidimen- 
sional, addressing aesthetic and pragmatic 
concerns, the challenging marketplace, inter- 
cultural understanding, and the ethical imper- 
atives of global communication. Our flexible 
curriculum and schedule include online 
rses that can be taken from your home 
office anytime, anywhere. Join a diverse 
ent body including students from more 
than thirty countries. 

Media Studies 

Call 212 229 5630 ext. 51 for a Media Studies 
catalog and application. 




C Open House, Wednesday, March 12 at 6 pm J 

^The New School 

66 West 12th Street New York, NY 10011 

212 229 563O Ext. 58 

www.newschool.edu/medlastudies 
e-mail: admisslonssnewschool.edu 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 37 




• 



- - - 









,w^ 



FOLLOW "" 
THE MONEY 



< Producer 
Andrea Sperling 
on her way to the 

top, and 

Peter Fried rich > 

in Fame Whore, 

which Sperling 

produced. 



The Producer's Job 

and Why Anyone 

Would Want It 

BY LlSSA GlBBS 






38 



HE. INDEPENDENT March 1997 



For most filmmakers, 
dealing with money is 
about as appealing as root 
canal. And like that surgery, 
it's painful but necessary. 
Finding money for low-bud- 
get films has become increas- 
ingly tricky and complicated. 
The pool of public funds has 
shrunk dramatically, while 
private financing through 
equity and investment struc- 
tures can require a keen 
understanding of corporate 
law, not to mention access to 



people with cash to spare. 
European television funds have 
filled some financing gaps, but 
monies available to North 
Americans through pre -sales and 
coproduction deals have begun to 
see cutbacks as well. 

Then there's the challenge of 
stretching what funds you have to 
last long enough to translate a story 
to the screen. Generally this "fun" 
job falls to the producer. Since in 
the independent film world the pro- 
ducer and the director are often 
one and the same, successful com- 
pletion of a film is all the more dif- 
ficult. 

Producing is largely an unsung 
and uncelebrated craft. But the 
skills required to navigate the 
increasingly complex waters of 

independent production while staying true to an artistic vision take a 
special kind of person, one who combines business acumen with inter- 
personal and creative abilities. 

I spoke with eight critically successful independent producers about 
their decision to produce, how they got where they are now, and what 
advice they have for aspiring producers. Whether you plan to produce 
or are a director looking for a producer, their words of experience will 
serve you well. 



*M 



m 



Producer Marcus Hu (inset), co-founder and co-president of Strand 
Releasing, and a still from Strand's Stonewall. 



Getting Started 



For some, deciding to become a producer was an accidental career 
choice. For others, it was an intentional and carefully considered path 
fueled by a drive to make films that mattered. Regardless, all experi- 
enced a personal turning point when they realized they were not going 
to direct — that this wasn't what they enjoyed most or did best. 

Vivian Kleiman's transition from curator to documentary producer 
was prompted "by dint of content," she says. "I was working at the 
Jewish Museum in Berkeley in the mid-seventies, and a man came in 
asking if we could recommend any titles about Jews for his Images of 



Ethnics in Film course at UC-Berkeley. There really weren't that many, 
so he and I set out to write a proposal for a series of documentaries 
about the different types of Jews around the world. I started as a 
researcher only and became the producer." 

Andrea Sperling's love of avant-garde film is what motivated her 
initial producing efforts. The fact that she would work without pay 
helped her get started. "My enthusiasm and dedication to the film were 
the greatest things I had to offer," she says. "That I was willing to work 
for free and commit to that meant a lot to the filmmaker." 

For Jtirgen Burning and Henry Rosenthal, it was more a function of 
circumstance. "My friends decided for me," says Briining, who began 
producing in the Berlin underground film scene during the early eight- 
ies. "They said, 'You're good with money. You be the producer.'" 

"I was tricked," says Henry Rosenthal of his first film project. "I 
thought I was organizing a live concert. The next thing I knew, we're 

doing a documentary film about 
it." 

Margot Bridger and Camelia 
Frieberg followed a more pre- 
dictable career path, working as 
producers' assistants, production 
managers, location managers, and 
assistant directors until they 
gained the knowledge, experience, 
and contacts to produce on their 
own. "There was a time in the 
beginning when everything I was 
working on had 'balls' as part of its 
description — odd-ball, screwball, " 
says Frieberg. "They were really 
dreadful films. But I did learn a lot 
from those jobs — especially that 
time equals money — and was able 
to import that equation later into 
independent projects." 

Still others, like Marcus Hu and 
Scott Macaulay, had already begun 
parallel careers in film presenta- 
tion, Hu as co-founder of Strand Releasing and Macaulay as program 
director of The Kitchen, an alternative performance and theater space 
in New York. Both established business partnerships with former co- 
workers and friends who possessed complementary skills, set up pro- 
duction companies, then went about finding directors with whom to 
collaborate (Hu with Gregg Araki on the West Coast, Macaulay and 
Robin O'Hara with Tom Noonan in New York) . 

There is no sure path or special secret to becoming a successful pro- 
ducer, but several bits of practical advice can be gleaned from these 
producers' beginnings: 

• Be willing to work for free when you first start out. 

• Know the difference between being an independent producer and 
a Hollywood producer. 

• Be willing to relocate temporarily to work on a particular film or 
with particular people. 

• Consider working as an office RA. on a film project or for a dis- 
tribution or production company for a short time. What you'll learn in 
these offices can't taught at school. 

• Work (or volunteer) for a nonprofit media organization where 




March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



Sunny 
Bright 
Clean 
Spacious 

Professional 



x\. Media Composer 1000 

V off -Jin e & on-line 

I 

D Suite 



Style TV Productions, Inc. 
52 East 78th St., 9D 
N.Y., N.Y. 10021 
212-717-4495 ask for Doug 



films 




12.982.2690 
212.982.2685 



T YOUR HANDS 
ON A SMOKIN 

AVID 



• EXPERIENCED EDITORS. 

• 1 5% DISCOUNT FOR 
INDIE FILMMAKERS!! 

37 FIRST AVE| 

SUITE ifc& 
NEW YORK, NY 1000J 



you'll meet upcoming 
filmmakers and learn 
grant writing and basic 
publicity skills. 

• Go to film screen- 
ings and festivals where 
you'll see the work of 
directors who are also 
starting out. 

• Produce short films. 

• Remember that pro- 
ducing is about long-term 
goals, not short-term 
ones. 

Making 

Collaborations 

Work 



So what makes a good 
producer? Certain quali- 
ties leapt to everyone's 
lips: patient, tenacious, 
dedicated, flexible, calm, 
optimistic, hard-working, 
self-confident, generous, 
thorough, and detail-oriented. A good pro- 
ducer knows when to take risks and when 
not to; doesn't take no for an answer (but 
remains polite); has the mental and physi- 
cal stamina to see a project through (for 
periods as short as a few months to as long 
as 15 years); can get people to work togeth- 
er; and makes sure that the whole is greater 
than the sum of its parts. Successful pro- 
ducers also excel at multitasking. "So many 
women are good producers because they 
already have to do so much of this juggling 
in their everyday lives," says Frieberg, com- 
menting on the disproportionate number of 
female producers to female directors. 

The ability to see long-term goals is 
another critical component. As Rosenthal 
says, "Low-budget films do not move at a 
human time scale. They move at something 
more akin to a geological time scale. As a 
producer, it's my job to understand every- 
thing that's happening and how all of the 
pieces fit together over the whole arc of 
time." 

It also takes a long time to accumulate 
knowledge about funding sources. Sperling 
describes her learning curve on this highly 
sensitive area: "When I first started out, I 
wanted to ask all these producers on panels 
if there was some sort of list, some book, 
which listed funding sources and contact 




Credit Roll 



40 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



M argot Bridger, NYC: producer of Ira Sachs's The Delta and Hannah 
Weyer's Arresting Gena, production manager, location manager, pro- 
duction coordinator, and producer's assistant on films by Mira Nair, 
Norman Rene, Bruce Leddy, Tony Drazan, and John Madden. 

Jurgen Bruning, Germany: producer of Bruce LaBruce's three fea- 
tures— No Skin Off My Ass, Super 8 112, and Hustler WA/Ye — several 
features and documentaries for German television, and Program 
Director of the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival. 

Camelia Frieberg, Toronto: producer of five features by Atom 
Egoyan, most recently Exotica, Jeremy Podeswa's Eclipse, Srinivas 
Krishna's Masala; also associate producer, production manager, assis- 
tant director, and location manager on films by Peter Mettler. Patricia 
Rozema, Bruce MacDonald, Adrienne Mitchell, and Charles Burnett. 

Marcus Hu, Los Angeles: producer of Gregg Araki's The Living End 
and Todd Verow's Frisk, executive producer of films by Bruce LaBruce, 
Richard Glatzer, Jon Moritsugu, and Nick Katsapetses, in development 
on Nancy Savoca's Two-Bit Tango-, co-founder and co-president of 
Strand Releasing 

Vivian Kleiman, Berkeley: producer and consulting producer on 
Marlon Riggs's Color Adjustment and Ethnic Notions, Ellen Spiro's 
Roam Sweet Home, and numerous documentaries; producer/director 
of her own doc, My Body's My Business. 

Scott Macaulay, NYC: producer with partner Robin O'Hara of Tom 
Noonan's What Happened Was... and The Wife, Herbert Beigel's Camp 
Stories, Tamara Jenkins' short Family Remains, Lewis Klahr's animat- 
ed short The Pharaoh 's Belt; editor of Filmmaker Magazine. 

Henry Rosenthal, San Francisco: producer of Conceiving Ada by 
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Caveh Zahedi's / Don't Hate Las Vegas 
Anymore, Jon Moritsugu's Mod Fuck Explosion, five feature films by 
Jon Jost, shorts by Rhoderyc Montgomery and Monika Treut, executive 
producer on Gregg Araki's The Living End. 

Andrea Sperling, Los Angeles: producer of Gregg Araki's Nowhere, 
The Doom Generation, Totally F***ED Up, The Living End; Jon 
Moritsugu's Fame Whore, Mod Fuck Explosion, Terminal USA; 
Christopher Munch's Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day, Mary Kuryla's 
Memory Circus; Jennifer Gentile's My Pretty Little Girlfriend; and 
Britta Sjogren's A Small Domain. 



names and numbers. Or if they could just give 
me that information. I now know those books 
don't exist, and even though everyone 
approaches the same people for funding, no 
one shares that information very openly. It's 
kind of ridiculous, but I understand why peo- 
ple are that way. It's just something you learn 
over time." 

Facilitating someone else's vision, keeping 
track of the cash flow, and making sure all of 
the big and small elements of a shoot come 
together on time can be an incredibly frus- 
trating challenge. Add to this the fact that 
the role of the producer is often misunder- 
stood, if not outright ignored, by the public. 
"Directors get almost all of the recognition," 
says Rosenthal, "and very rarely does a direc- 
tor carry a producer with him as he ascends 
the ranks." 

Nonetheless, all but one of the producers 
interviewed said they had almost no desire to 
direct a film of their own. That owes to the 
fact that all have found room for their own 
creative identities within the context of their 
collaborations with directors. "It's not just 
about money, the crew, and the schedule; our 
partnership is about ideas, a shared impulse," 
explains Bridger. Yet, as several producers 
point out, it is also important to have some- 
thing that is completely one's own. This 
might be something as simple as gardening or 
as complex as another professional identity, 
like Hu's as a distributor. 

Making a Living 

Making a living as an independent producer 
can be very difficult, especially at the start. 
All of the producers interviewed have had 
other sources of income as needed through- 
out their careers, including work-for-hire on 
commercial productions, part-time work as 
magazine editors or festival directors, unre- 
lated business ventures, or family money. 
Most of them have chosen to live simply and 
inexpensively. 

"It's not incredibly glamorous, but I'm hap- 
piest being able to do the work I want to do, 
so I don't really mind," says Bridger. Kleiman 
explains, "I live in a place [Berkeley] where 
it's easy to live an elegant and healthy life 
with a limited budget. I get royalty checks 
which cover the 'nut' of my living expenses, 
and I freelance as a consulting producer as 
well as teach." 

For several, the decision to produce dra- 
matic features is one of economic necessity. 
Nonfiction films, even those with a theatri- 



Hello World 

Communications 

50 West 17th Street 3rd fl 
New York City 10011 

212-243-3300 

fax 691-6961 
333-243-4567 




Cellular phones 
Walkie talkies 
Video equipment 
Audio equipment 
Digital • Hi8 video 




= its the following Cameras 
Aaton Cameras 
-LTR7 

- LTR 54 
-XTR 

- XTR Plus 
All Arriflex Cameras 

-Arri S, SB, M 

-Arri16BL 

-Arri SR 1,2,3 

-Arri 2A,B,C 

-Arri 3C 

-Arri 35BL 1,2,3,4 
Bolex Reflex Cameras 

-Rex 1,2,3,4,5 
Eclair ACL 
Eclair NPR 
Cinema Products 

-CP 16A 

-CP 16R 
Krasnogorsk-3 
Reflex Lens Finders 
Many Others 



$599 



Each Universal Assist comes with the following: Black 
and White CCD compact video camera with auto iris; 
Optics and viewfinder coupling device; AC Power sup- 
ply; DC power cable (4 Pin XLR); BNC to RCAadaptor 
Form fitted watertight hard travel case; Warranty. 

Color for only $799! 



Specifications: 

Video Source 

Auto Iris/Auto shutter 

Resolution 

Video Output 

Power Requirements 

Optional output 

Weight 



Black and White CCD 

Yes 

380 lines horizontal 

BNC connector 

12VDC1.2W 

Combined power/video 

Less than 290g. 



MOA 



National 

Sales 

Agent: 




ffii 



IIMf.-i £ tt 



T 



Tel: 305-949-8800 
■Fax: 305-949-760C 




MERCER STREET 



Sound Design / Original Music 



Pro Tools III / Media 100 



s 



DIGITAL AUDIO 
- PRODUCTION - 

for Film and Video 
and Multimedia 



Video Capture & Compression / Betacam Video Lockup 



Sound Effects / Voice Over & ADR 



Discount rates for independents 



133 MERCER ST. NYC 10012 • 212.966-6794 • E-mail mercerst@aol.com 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 41 




What's in a Title? 



212.843.0840 



Or Toll Free: 
1.888. POST 391 

No 200 Varick St N.Y.C. 10014 



AwdlHIRE 

Online\Offline Suites - Post Production Support 
Digital Betacam - Film Conform - Editorial 



Not all films have each of these positions, and on low budget films, many are filled by the same person. 

Executive Producer: An honorary title, this person is most often the top executive in the production com- 
pany making the film or the individual who supplied the financial backing for the film. Not to be confused with 
a Producer's Representative, who is hired or brought into a film for percentage points as the film nears 
completion and whose job it is to sell the film to a distributor. An executive producer usually has very little or 
nothing to do with the actual making of the film and much more to do with dealmaking and contractual 
maneuverings. 

Producer: The person who bears the ultimate administrative and financial responsibility for a film, this per- 
son works on virtually every phase of the film: development, production, distribution, and promotion. In prac- 
tice, the role of a producer is often very broad and may include artistic involvement. 

Co-producer: Generally the credit which appears when two or more production companies or producers — 
often from different countries — have worked jointly as producing partners on a film. 

Series Producer: A term used in television production, this person is responsible for the overall produc- 
tion of a series, the individual parts of which may be written, directed, or produced by different people. 

Line Producer: This person is hired by the production company or producer to run the actual shooting of 
the film when the producer does not have the time or the experience necessary for this particular shoot. 
Generally this job is limited to only one phase of the production, the shoot, and is paid for on a flat-fee basis. 



Margot Bridger on the set of Hannah Weyer's Arresting Gena and a 
still from Ira Sach's The Delta, which she also produced. 



cal or semi-theatrical life, "don't pay the mortgage," Frieherg explains, unless you have a com- 
pany that is set up to produce pieces on "diseases of the week, tragedy of the month, or sup- 
posedly controversial subjects" for TV. 

As producers like Macaulay, Bridger, Briining, and Sperling have grown in experience, so 
have their producing fees increased, but it's still a struggle. "Of course, I make sure to have per- 
centage points in each film," says Bridger, "but for now I know that I need to be working with 
more than two directors in order to make a living." Briining notes that any money he makes 
from a film goes right back into his company for future productions. As a result, he's not plan- 
ning to leave his day job as programmer for the Leipzig Documentary Film Festival anytime 



42 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



Production Manager: The person in charge 
of the day-to-day details of production. 
Somewhat more nuts and bolts than a line pro- 
ducer, this person works closely with the produc- 
er, line producer, director, and assistant director 
to manage the crew during a shoot. Sometimes 
this person is also involved in casting. 

Associate Producer: Frequently an honorary 
title accorded a person for his or her financial 
contribution to a film, this vague term can also 
refer to someone who has assisted the producer 
in creative or business matters relating to the 
production. 

Production Assistant: Sounds exactly like 
what it is. Responsibilities can range from get- 
ting lunch for everyone at a meeting to helping 
the producer keep track of the entire production. 
Generally a thankless but extremely educational 
job, which can lead to associate producing and 
eventually producing. 

— L.G. 



Plunging In 



Getting started involves making contacts and 
getting whatever experience one can muster. 
These eight producers gained the knowledge 
and practical experience that enabled them 
to find directors and produce films by getting 
out in the "real world" of film sets, produo 
tion offices, film festivals, nonprofit filmmak- 
ing collectives, theater workshops, and 
through friends and acquaintances. 

On top of that, the eight have a few prac- 
tical tips: Macaulay and Sperling suggest that 
aspiring producers diligently read the trades 
and attend conferences, film festivals, and 
seminars — but "not too many," adds 
Macaulay. Rosenthal and Kleiman urge pro- 
ducers to learn as much as they can about 
new technologies and how these can further 
one's budget. Bridger advises taking time 
when choosing projects and directors — in 
order to do so wisely. Hu suggests talking to 
producers who have done similar projects on 
similar budgets and says always to anticipate 
overages in postproduction. And Frieberg 
simply exhorts, "Courage. Don't give up 
hope. Nothing is impossible." 

Lissa Gibbs is a Bay Area-based producer, writer, and 

curator. She is currently in production on Rose 

Hansen's Pleasure Merchants and Deke Weaver's 

theater and video performance GIRLFRIEND. 



DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY 

HAS ALL THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO SHOOT A FEATURE 

ARRI SR, NAGRA 4, HMI'S 

FOR A KICK ASS REEL CALL 203.254.7370 
You bring the film and the Kit Kats, I'll do the Rest 



SONY BETACAM SP with Monitor, Playback, 
Lights, Wireless, Tripod STARTING @ 400 A DAY 
, CALL 203.254.7370 or NY pager 917.824.3334 



Reflex K-3 16mm 



Available in Super 16mm! 



Motorized! 

Crystal Sync Version 



Standard 
Wind-up Version 




ust$l 9 319!just $569! 




I "Sophisticated optics, solid 
construction" - New York Times 
"A steal at twice the money" 

- Jack Watson Moviemaker Magazine 




The crystal sync K-3 camera comes 
with the standard set of accessories (see 
description at right) and 17-69mmlens. 
The camera will run at 1 2, 24, 48fps at 
sync and with the addition of an Aaton 
style speed crystal control all speeds 
between 6 and 60fps are possible. With 
the addition of the sync motor the K-3 is 
the ideal camera for music videos, sec- 
ond unit, or stunt camera work, at less 
than thecost of atraditional crystal sync 
motor alone. Motor made in USA. 



All cameras come with a complete set of 
accessories including 17-69mmzoomlens, 
pistolgrip,shoulderbrace,fiveglass filters 
(ND, UV, Light and Dark Yellow, #2 
Diopter), cable release, case, warranty, 
and more ! The camera utilizes a rotating 
mirrorreflexfinder, andanoperatingrange 
from 8-50fps with single frame. Made of 
solid aluminum construction and coated 
optics. Findoutforyourself why the K-3 is 
themostpopular camera in America. Call 
today for a free brochure. 



MiaA 



National 

Sales 

Agent: 



LIGHTING & SUPPLY 



Tel: 305-949-880C 
Fax: 305-949-7600 



AVID 8000/400 

O N - L I N E / OFF - L I N E 

3D Animation/After Effects 

ProTools Sound Editing/1 Film Gomp^ser 

: Beta SP On- Line/AB Roll/ Dubs/Xfers ' ;'j>', r 

Discount Rates For IndependGnts';; / _, '( , 

SOLAR Productions 580 Broadwayf ,fcflouslon) WM^IW 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




THREE'S A CHARM 

Raw Footage, Split Screen, and 

Edgewise widen the visibility of 

independent film on cable 



by Mitch Albert 

Three new cable series have cropped up 
since last fall that will introduce mainstream 
audiences to the diverse range of independent 
filmmakers. The Independent Film Channel/ 
Bravo's Raw Footage, hosted by Alec Baldwin, 
is an ardent look at the inner workings of doc- 
umentaries and independent features; Split 
Screen, also on IFC/Bravo, breaks out the party 
bus as John Pierson conducts an irreverent 
tour of indie film culture past, present, and 
future; and MSNBC's Edgewise is a news- 
magazine hosted by John Hockenberry which 
includes the idiosyncratic perspectives of a 
variety of filmmakers in an anything-goes for- 
mat. 

Last October, the Independent Film 
Channel (IFC) introduced Raw Footage, an 
hour-long, interview-format program featuring 
documentary filmmakers. The periodic series is 
produced by documentary producer Mark Mori 
(Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann) 
and hosted by Baldwin, a rare Hollywood star 
who is able to articulate a sincere social con- 
science. According to Mori, the show's man- 
date is to draw attention to "works of high 
quality and strong social or political content 
that have not gotten wide exposure." 

Mori says the concept grew out of a plan, 
developed with Baldwin, to stage a "Banned by 
PBS Festival" featuring a rash of documen- 
taries denied airtime by PBS. Among them was 
Mori's own Oscar-nominated documentary, 
Building Bombs, spurned on grounds that "it 
wasn't 'balanced,' " he says, though the broad- 
casters might have been more alarmed by the 
film's revelation of the extensive involvement 
of multinational corporations — some of which 
sponsor PBS — in the nuclear weapons indus- 
try. Baldwin was one of the signatories to a full- 
page ad in Variety (sponsored by Mori's 
Coalition Against PBS Censorship) protesting 
PBS's closed doors. It was then that Mori "dis- 
covered a commonality of opposition against 




censorship" with Baldwin, and Raw Footage 
evolved from this point. 

A sour reception from PBS, of course, is not 
a criterion for inclusion on the new show. 
Filmmakers invited to speak about 
their work include Barbara Trent 
(The Panama Deception), AIVF 
board member Robert Richter (The 
School of Assassins), and Frieda 
Mock (Maya Lin: A Strong Clear 
Vision). The episodes may focus on a 
single film or several works linked by 
a common theme. 

In January, IFC pledged to renew 
the show for three more months, 
with further extension a possibility. 
The series will pick up again later 
this spring, according to a Bravo 
spokesperson. Mori says Raw 
Footage will expand to include nar- 
rative films and may eventually wel- 
come unsolicited submissions, 
though at present there is "no 
mechanism to deal with that." Mori 
does promise that those filmmakers 
fortunate enough to get tapped for 
the series will be able to sell video 
cassettes using an 800 number at 
the end of the show — something 



PBS guidelines 
generally pro- 
hibit to individ- 
uals presenting 
their own work. 

With his 1995 
book Spike, 
Mike, Slackers, 
and Dykes, John 
Pierson emer- 
ged from behind 
the scenes as a 
producer's rep 
to become the 
most visible 
chronicler ot the past decade ot independent 
feature production. The book, in turn, has 
begotten Split Screen, a new series that peers 
inside the independent scene. 




44 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



"I toured a lot with the book when it came 
out," Pierson says, "and I would show demo 
reels and unseen footage — quite the dog-and- 
pony show; people enjoyed that. I also started 
being interviewed a lot on radio and TV, and it 
just dawned on me to turn the book into a 
show." 

Split Screen "will make a point, maybe, but it 
will certainly also provide entertainment 
value," says Pierson, who, as the show's host, 
combines an insider's perspective with the 
informality of an MTV veejay. The series pilot 
features directors Spike Lee and Richard 
Linklater waxing nostalgic about the early days 
of the independent renaissance; Minnesota res- 
idents commenting on Fargo; and chats with 
aspiring directors attending Pierson's annual 
weekend retreat at Cold Spring, New York, 
about why they want to be filmmakers. A future 
episode may include a juicy assignment for 
Roger & Me's Michael Moore to pin down 
Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein. 

"I don't want to do anything conventional," 
Pierson says. While the show may cover festi- 
vals like Sundance, "If you ever see me stand- 
ing with a microphone at the Egyptian Theater 
in Park City with a little snow or something, the 
show's dead," he says. "Turn it off and never 
watch it again." (A special preview of the show, 
in fact, was among the events at this year's 
Slamdance, the counter-festival to Sundance.) 

For certain segments, Split Screen contracts 









CDlGlMd 


AUDIO PRODUC^ON^ 


• SOUND DESIGN, SFX, AND EDITING 

• Foley, ADR, and voice-over recording 

• ORIGINAL MUSIC AND SCORING 

• LIBRARY MUSIC SELECTION AND LICENSING 

• COMPETITIVE RATES 


528 CANAL STREET #4. NEW YORK, NY 10013 • (212) 343-7034 




£ Jet e/t& 




non-linear editing to betacam-sp 

component interformat studio: 

betacam-sp,3/4",hi-8,s-vhs 

3d animation/graphics/cg 

digital audio recording 

dat recording 

digital effects switcher 

$1500/week with editor 
18 gigabyte hd 

Independent Post Production 
in the East Village 

Call for class brochures 
east third street new york city 

212.254.1106 



WHEN IT COMES TO 

jr\f 



ncrp |» 



WE ARE 
THE EXPERTS! 




NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 

CAROL A. BRESSI, Vice President 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 



* r_i _j _j _i j _i :_' j _i _i _j _i _j __i _ j _j 

; AFFORDABLE VIDEO SOLUTIONS 



THIRD 

WAVE 

MEDIA 

INC 



SONY BETA SP A /B EDITING. TRANSFERS. BUMP 
UPS. WINDOW DUBS. CMX ON LINE MASTERING. 
DYNAMIC MOTION CONTROL. DAT. TOASTER 
FX/CG/3D . NEWTEK VIDEO FLYER NON LINEAR 
EDITING. GREAT LOW RATES! 



IKE / SONY BETACAM SP PACKAGE : $275 . 3 CHIP 
HI-8 SONY VX3 : $75. 3 CHIP S-VHS BRS411U : 
$175 EXPERIENCED EDITOR AVAILABLE . CALL NOW 
FOR DISCOUNT EDITING PRICES : 212-751-7414 



SWEET 
EAST 6©'S 
LOCATION 



J_J 



J'LIU ilvj 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 45 




* Experienced Editor 
J Digital fiudip 
Workstation 



Mi ;■■:■&#&■ 



::"S ■»//■ '■»//?'■: 



Extensive SFX 



*AQJR 



Foley 



mm/ m% -mm : SM 



* MOST COMPETITIVE 



RATES!!! 




NON LINEAR 
EDITING 




o 



REAL TIME TRANSITIONS 



BROADCAST ONLINE 
3:1 TO 200:1 OFFLINE 



MULTI-LAYERING 



BETACAM SP EDITING 
HI 8 & 3/4SP — 3/4 AB 

ANIMATION & GRAPHICS 

DUPLICATION 

TRANSFERS from HI8 to BETA 



Phone (212) 219-9240 
Fax (212) 966-5618 




"young, independent filmmakers, who are given 
access to produce an original [short] work on 
their own," producer Howard Bernstein says. 
"John wants to give people a chance to pitch an 
idea, and, if he likes it, to follow through." 

Then there's Edgewise, an MSNBC affair 
produced hy R. J. Cutler (who examined the art 
of political maneuvering in his coproductions 
The War Room and A Perfect Candidate. He and 
Perfect Candidate coproducer David Van Taylor 
appeared on the first episode of Raw Footage.) 
Edgewise is a news magazine hosted hy Uber- 
correspondent John Hockenberry, a veteran of 
Middle Eastern crises and stints at ABC, NPR, 
and NBC. The weekly, hour-long series, which 
premiered last September, is an unpredictable 
gumbo: in one installment, Hockenberry recites 
his own poetry and interviews Allen Ginsberg; 
airs a short video probing the rationales ot teen 
smokers; and memorializes an obscure mathe- 
matics genius. Each show also allocates chunks 
of time to short, independently produced films 
and videos. 

Edgewise's overall agenda is "to be curious 
and provocative," Cutler says. To this end, he 
has hired a number of luminaries to produce 
short works on whatever subjects strike their 
fancy. "Kevin Rafferty (Feed) is doing a piece, 
and David [Van Taylor], and D. A. Pennebaker 
(The War Room)" says Cutler. "We're talking to 
Terry Zwigoff (Crumb), and [Joe] Berlinger and 
[Bruce] Sinotsky (Brother's Keeper). I'm in a for- 
tunate position, because these are all colleagues 
and friends of mine. It's an opportunity to call 
them up and say, 'We have six minutes for you, 
and we can pay; what would you like to do?' " 

According to Cutler, Edgewise is "committed 
to a balanced look at the world, mixed with a 
healthy skepticism." The show's political edge 



occasionally involves aggressive commentary 
by Hockenberry; other times it appears quite 
level, as when Hockenberry chats noncon- 
trontationally with New Jersey governor 
Christine Whitman or probes the subjectivi- 
ty of political allegiance with a Democratic 
mother and her Republican daughter. Other 
topics hatched by the Edgewise team include 
a look at hipness in politics; a rundown of 
President Clinton's betrayals; and a short 
film by Josh Kornbluth imagining a resurrect- 
ed Ben Franklin. Overall, Cutler emphasizes, 
Edgewise explores as many facets of the cul- 
ture as possible. "We can't really understand 
public affairs and culture separately," he says. 
"We decided, for example, to take interview 
segments and include documentaries, to 
understand public affairs from the filmmak- 
er's point of view." 

Cutler invites submissions, including 
works-in-progress. "We're a late-night show- 
on a 24-hour cable network that wants to be 
as plugged in as possible to the independent 
film community." 

Raw Footage, on IFC/Bravo, 150 
Crossways Park West, Woodbury, NY 1 1797. 

Split Screen, Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on 
IFC; the first two episodes debut March 10 
at 8 p.m. on IFC and March 14 at 9 p.m. on 
Bravo. 

Edgewise, on MSNBC, Saturdays and 
Sundays at 1 1 p.m. EST; Edgewise, 226 W. 
26th St., New York, NY 10001. 

Mitch Albert is a documentary filmmaker/journalist/ 
aspiring screenwriter/neophyte student of Oriental 
medicine living a too-short life in New York City. 



46 THE INDEPENDENT March 1997 



COMMAND PERFORMANCE 

Ovation is cables 
newest arts network 




by Ryan Deussing 

When the cable spectrum finally expands 
with the onset of digital technology, a 
Virginia company called Ovation is deter- 
mined to be among the first new channels on 
the dial. With rapid growth in mind, this 
year-and-a-half-old arts network has been 
satisfying its need for programming with a 
schedule consisting of 90 percent acquisi- 
tions — good news for independent media- 
makers who have arts-related work to sell. 

Ovation currently picks up between 500 
and 600 hours of programming annually and 
plans to develop a library of up to 3,000 hours 
within the next few years. Meanwhile, its 
original programming and coproduction 
schedule involves between 50 and 80 projects 
per year and should continue to grow. The 
overall weekly schedule includes slots for var- 
ious types of programming, including visual 
arts, performance, stage drama, music, archi- 
tecture/design, and opera. 

Susan Wittenberg, Ovation's vice presi- 
dent for production and programming, (and 
an AIVF board member) describes the chan- 
nel as "an arts network in the broadest 
sense." In a given week, Ovation devotes 
time to a wide range of cultural and artistic 
themes. A good portion of the schedule con- 
sists of profiles of artists in various mediums, 
such as Alvin Alley. The Stack up and Cry, 
August Wilson, and Face to Face with Salman 
Rushdie. 

Also strongly featured are performance 
programs, such as Barbara Hendricks in 
Leningrad, or My Night with Handel, for which 
the network received a 1996 Ace Award 
nomination. With J. Carter Brown of 
Washington's National Gallery of Art as the 
channel's founder and chairman of the board, 
it's no surprise that Ovation also focuses on 
museum exhibitions, such as Happy Birthday 
Mr. Johnson — about a Museum of Modern 
Art exhibition of works donated by Philip 




Still/Here, 
co-produced 
by Ovation, 
Alive TV, 
LaSept/Arte, 
and Maya 
Distribution, 
received a 1996 
Ace Award 
nomination. 



Johnson — and Modem Painters, both Ovation 
original productions. 

"Our acquisitions come either from big- 
name distributors, other networks (often for- 
eign, such as the BBC or Channel 4), or inde- 
pendents," Wittenberg says. "We very often 
purchase the cable rights for a program that has 
already aired on public television," she 
explains. "This way, Ovation is able to get very 
high quality programming for very low dollars." 

At an average acquition fee of $3,500 per 
hour (or about $60/minute) , Ovation's rates are 
signficantly lower than public television's (e.g., 
PO.V pays approximately $375/minute, and 
Alive TV $230/minute; Frontline, Nova, and 
American Experience are in the $100,000/hour 
range; and PBS noncore acquisitions range 
from approximately $0-$25,000/hr for national 
broadcast and up to $10,000 for regional). 
However, if a broadcast sale has already been 
made, this $3,500 can be icing on the cake. 
Otherwise, it's welcome revenue for indepen- 
dents looking to sell material that may have few 
other television outlets. 

Seattle-based independent Justin Harris, 
whose half-hour documentary Dare to Dance 
was recently acquired by Ovation, is happy with 
the deal. "Originally I was in discussions with 
A&E, but it seems they're quite wary of ven- 



turing outside of their programming formula," 
he explains. "Partly by nature of its newness, 
Ovation is more willing to take risks." 
Sometimes a risk will pay off: Still/Here, a per- 
formance program featuring controversial 
choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones, was co- 
produced by Ovation, Alive TV, La Sept/Arte, 
and Maya Distribution and also received a 
1996 Ace Award nomination. 

Original programming and coproductions 
make up the remaining 10 percent of the 
schedule. Though the network is able to sup- 
port coproductions with funds of up to $25,000, 
Wittenberg is careful to point out the unlikeli- 
hood of Ovation "making a project happen." 
"Don't come to us first," she advises. "We can 
only begin thinking realistically about getting 
involved when the vast majority of your fund- 
ing is already in place." 

Ultimately, Wittenberg would like to see sus- 
tained growth in the number of Ovation's 
coproductions, which tend to have bigger bud- 
gets and yield higher returns. "Coproductions 
are good investments," she explains, "They 
usually have a more mainstream appeal, which 
means guaranteed returns." These types of pro- 
jects are very often music, dance, or theater 
performances from around the world and 
involve cooperation with another major fun- 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



International Insurance Brokers Inc. 

Formerly Coulter & Sands Inc. 



Discounted Liability 

Insurance 
for AIVF Members 



Contact: Debra Kozee 

Suite 500 • 20 Vesey Street 

New York, NY 10007-2966 

Tel: 800-257-0883 

212-406-4499 

Fax:212-406-7588 

E-mail: staff@csins.com 

http://www.csins.com 




Video Duplication 

READY NEXT DAY- Mon-Fri 

3/4" U-matic & 1/2" VHS or Beta II Copies 

FROM 3/4", 1/2" VHS MASTER Add $25.00 per ONE INCH Master 

FROM ONE 20 MINUTES 30 MINUTES 60 MINUTES 1/2" VHS/Beta II 
MASTER. 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 90 MIN. 120 MIN. 



One Copy $4.00 $4.00 $6.00 $5.00 $9.00 $8.00 

2-4 Copies 3.50 3.00 5.50 4.50 8.00 6.00 

5-9 Copies 3.00 2.50 4.50 3.50 7.00 5.00 

10-19 Copies 2.50 2.00 4.00 3.00 6.00 4.50 

1-4 RUSH Dubs. $8.00 $11.00 $17.00 

TC Burn In $10.00 $14.00 $26.00 

Window Dubs 5.00 7.00 13.00 



$11.00 
8.00 
7.00 
6.00 



$14.00 
9.00 
8.00 
7.00 



$22.00 $28.00 

Inquire for LABELING 
& SHRINK WRAP 



PRICES ARE PER COPY- STOCK NOT INCLUDED ASSEMBLY CHARGES ARE ADDITIONAL. 



EQUIPMENT: 3/4" Sony, 1/2" Panasonic 2 ch. industrial recorders and Grass 
Valley & Videotek distributors. Time base correction, optional, with Microtime 
and Tektronix equipment. TITLING & EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE 

3/4" & 1/2" EDITING Evenings & 24 Hour Access 
With and Without an Editor Instructions Available 
CHYRON TITLER AVAILABLE 
ONE LIGHT FILM TO TAPE TRANSFERS 
FILM STOCK, VIDEO TAPE. AUDIO TAPE, LEADER & SUPPLIES 



(212)475-7884 

814 BROADWAY 
NEW YORK, NY 10003 



der; Ovation has worked on coproductions 
with such foreign networks as Arte and the 
UK's Channel 4- As Ovation grows and gener- 
ates a library of tapes, the ratio of acquisitions 
to other programming is likely to approach 
50:50, Wittenberg predicts. If filmmakers have 
work to sell, it would seem that there's no time 
like the present. 

Asked about the type of work Ovation is 
seeking, Wittenberg stresses the network's com- 
mitment to the visual arts. "We are always look- 
ing for 'museum' material, work that docu- 
ments a particular exhibition or gallery show." 
The network also plans to produce Art News, a 
series that will report on the country's cultural 
scene. Wittenberg is open to ideas filmmakers 
may have concerning segments for Art News, 
but she stresses the importance of maintaining 
a national scope. "I know sometimes it feels like 
everything is happening right here in New 
York," she explains, "but remember that ours is 
a national audience." She adds, "At the 
moment we're concentrating on getting broad- 
cast in the Los Angeles and Miami areas, and 
would love to see programming that features 
these regions." 

Unfortunately, Ovation is not likely to help 
expand the market for dramatic shorts or inde- 
pendent features. "Quite frankly, 'independent 
film' is not one of our major categories," 
Wittenberg says. The primary reason is the 
existence of Bravo's Independent Film Channel 
and Showtime's Sundance Channel. With two 
major networks already airing such material, it 
makes better marketing sense for Ovation to 
distinguish itself as an "arts network," rather 
than another film channel. However, docu- 
mentary profiles ot renowned filmmakers may 
find room in Ovation's programming schedule. 
One such profile, a film about the life and work 
ot Maya Deren, is already in the works. 

With the exception of the planned Art 
News, the subjects of Ovation programming 
need not be cutting-edge; programming dealing 
with literature or art history can focus on older 
material, so long as the film or video itself does 
not appear dated. 

The network is also interested in experimen- 
tal and avant-garde work, though it may be rel- 
egated to a late-night slot. "With regard to this 
type of work, it's important to remember that 
all of our programming has to fit the needs of 
our advertisers," comments Wittenberg. 
"Experimental work that runs an hour or less is 
also much easier to find room for. From a pro- 
gramming perspective, there's a huge difference 
between 60 and 90 minutes." 



48 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



T 


H 


E 




A 


S S 


o c 


1 A T 


1 


O 


N 




O 


F 




1 


D 


1 
E 


N 


D E 


P E 


N D 


E 


N 


T 


E 


R 




V 


O 


& 


F 1 


L M 


M 


A 


K 


S 




iverse, committed, 
opinionated, and 
fiercely indepen- 
dent — these are the 
video and filmmak- 
ers who are mem- 
bers of AIVF. 
Documentary and 
feature filmmakers, animators, experi- 
mentalists, distributors, educators, 
students, curators — all concerned 
that their work make a difference — 
find the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers, the national 
service organization for independent 
producers, vital to their professional 
lives. Whether it's our magazine, The 
Independent Film & Video Monthly, or 
the organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your indepen- 
dence while letting you know you're 
not alone. 

AIVF helps you save time and money 
as well. You'll find you can spend 
more of your time (and less of your 
money) on what you do best — getting 
your work made and seen. To succeed 
as an independent today, you need a 
wealth of resources, strong connec- 
tions, and the best information avail- 
able. So join with more than 5,000 
other independents who rely on AIVF 
to help them succeed. 
JOIN AIVF TODAY! 

Here's what membership offers: 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM & 
VIDEO MONTHLY 

Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent. 
Thought-provoking features, news, 
and regular columns on business, 



technical, and legal matters. Plus fes- 
tival listings, funding deadlines, exhi- 
bition venues, and announcements of 
member activities and new programs 
and services. Special issues highlight 
regional activity and focus on subjects 
including media education and the 
new technologies. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase dis- 
counted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF suppli- 
ers. A range of health insurance 
options are available, as well as special 
liability, E&O, and production plans 
tailored for the needs of low-budget 
mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

A growing list of businesses across the 
country offer AIVF members dis- 
counts on equipment and auto 
rentals, film processing, transfers, 
editing, and other production necessi- 
ties. Plus long-distance and overnight 
courier services are available at spe- 
cial rates for AIVF members from 
national companies. In New York, 
members receive discounted rates at 
two hotels to make attendance at our 
programs and other important events 
more convenient. 

CONFERENCE/SCREENING 
ROOM 

AIVF's new office has a low-cost 
facility for members to hold meetings 
and small private screenings of work 
for friends, distributors, programmers, 
funders, and producers. 



INFORMATION 

We distribute a series of publications 
on financing, funding, distribution, 
and production; members receive dis- 
counts on selected titles. AIVF's staff 
also can provide information about 
distributors, festivals, and general 
information pertinent to your needs. 
Our library houses information on 
everything from distributors to sample 
contracts to budgets. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, AND 
SEMINARS 

Members get discounts on events cov- 
ering the whole spectrum of current 
issues and concerns affecting the 
field, ranging from business and aes- 
thetic to technical and political top- 
ics. Plus: members-only evenings with 
festival directors, producers, distribu- 
tors, cable programmers, and funders. 

ADVOCACY 

Members receive periodic advocacy 
alerts, with updates on important leg- 
islative issues affecting the indepen- 
dent field and mobilization for collec- 
tive action. 

COMMUNITY 

AIVF sponsors monthly member get- 
togethers in cities across the country; 
call the office for the one nearest you. 
Plus members are carrying on active 
dialogue online — creating a "virtual 
community" for independents to 
share information, resources, and 
ideas. Another way to reach fellow 
independents to let them know about 
your screenings, business services, and 
other announcements is by renting 
our mailing list, available at a dis- 
count to members. 



Jm 



m 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual/Student Membership 

Year's subscription to The Independent • Access to all plans and discounts • Festival/ 
Distribution/Library services • Information Services • Discounted admission to seminars • 
Book discounts • Advocacy action alerts • Eligibility to vote and run for board of directors 

Supporting Membership 

All the above for two individuals at one address, with 1 subscription to The Independent 

Non-profit Organizational/Business & Industry Membership 

All the above benefits, except access to health insurance plans • 2 copies of The Independent 
• 1 free FIVF-published book per year • Complimentary bulk shipments of The Independent to 
conferences, festivals, and other special events • Special mention in The Independent • 
Representative may vote and run for board of directors 



Library Subscription 

Year's subscription to The Independent only 



JOIN AIVF TODAY 



-a^- 



Membership Rates 

□ $25/student (enclose copy of student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

□ $75/supporting 

Q $75/lihrary subscription 

Q $100/non-profit organization 

Q $150/husiness &. industry 

Name(s) 







4> 


Organization 


$ 


Address 




$ 


City 




$ 


State 
Country 


ZIP 


A,-,-.- J£ 


Weekday tel. 


Fax 


E-mail 




Signatu 



Mailing Rates 

□ Canada - Add $15 

□ Mexico - Add $20 

□ All Other - Add $45 

□ USA - Magazines are mailed Second-class; 
add $20 for First-class mailing 

Membership cost 

Mailing costs (if applicable) 

Contribution tO FIVF (make separate tax-deductible check payable to FTVF) 
Total amount enclosed (check or monei aide) 

Or please bill my □ Visa □ MC 



Exp. date I II I 



AIVF/FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th Fl., NY, NY 10013; (212) 807-1400 x 235; fax (212) 463-8519 

http://www.virtualfilm.com/AIVF/ 



■ 



tt« 



3rH 



|.XC^ 



■ 






m 



H 



SPfr 



■ 



> •• 



«« 



^m 



hirJ.; 



£» 



3k 



Other categories for which Ovation seeks 
work include children's and family program- 
ming and foreign productions. In the case of 
foreign-language material, Wittenberg points 
out the importance of an English-language 
voiceover or dub for non-performance pieces 
and states clearly that "subtitles don't work." 
Programs suitable for children could also wind 
up as part of ArtSmart, a new educational ini- 
tiative. 

"Ovation is a true start-up network," 
explains Wittenberg. "Our hope is that as cable 
systems are able to accommodate more chan- 
nels, Ovation will spread quickly. Until that 
point, we have to focus on individual cable 
companies and prove ourselves to them." 
Unlike most new cable channels, Ovation is 
neither a subsidiary of a larger media conglom- 
erate, nor a spin-off of an existing cable net- 
work. Whereas MTV can preview its new M2 
channel nation-wide within its own program- 
ming schedule, new companies like Ovation 
have to start from scratch and convince cable 
operators of their channel's potential before it 
is ever seen by actual viewers. 

Currently Ovation is cablecast three hours a 
week to between 10 and 14 million homes 
through TCI's "Intro Television" preview ser- 
vice. It is also regularly previewed by regional 
cable operators, but Wittenberg is quick to 
point out that the process of getting carriage is 
not as simple as it seems. "We previewed in 
Washington, DC, for a month last spring," she 
explains, "and our market research reported 
that we did very well. They got back to us 
requesting more information — and we're still in 
the process of negotiating being carried by their 
operation. It's very complex." [See "Get a Load 
of the Competition," Aug./Sept. '96.] It can be 
even more difficult in areas like New York City, 
where a huge demand for programming space 
runs up against a near-monopoly on cable ser- 
vice. "It doesn't look like we'll be on Time- 
Warner for some time," she admits, although 
Liberty Cable, a "wireless" company utilizing 
rooftop satellite dishes, can offer New Yorkers 
Ovation. 

You don't need to wait until Ovation is part 

of your cable service to talk to them about your 

work. To approach them about a potential sale 

or coproduction, contact Susan Wittenberg 

through the Ovation headquarters at 201 

North Union St., Alexandria, VA, 22314; 

(703) 518-3095; fax: 518-3096; www.ova- 

tiontv.com. 

Ryan Deussing (ryan@thing.net) is a freelance writer 
and editorial assistant for The Independent. 



AVID EDIT SUITES 



Off Line 

On Line avr 75 

4 Channel Audio 
3-D Effects 
DLT Back-up 



Voice over 



Boo 



tla 



AUDIO 

PRO TOOLS 

16-Track Digital Audio Suite 

Full Sound Design & Mixing 

Sound Effects Library 



on track video (212) 244-0744 

104 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001 




278 BabcockSt. Boston, MA 02215 
61 7-254-7882 Phone - 61 7-254-7 1 49 Fax 





Digital M»dia Arts 



Studio Pass 

digital audio & video 

—16 - track lock to betacam sp £ 3/4 

-media 100 

— cd rom mastering 

—composer referral 

—three suite production facility 

—rates as low as *I0 with engineer 

HARVESTWORKS 

212.431.1130 xlO 

596 Broadway, Suite 602, NYC 10012 

http://www.avsi.com/harvestworks 



The Outpost 

Edit on our Media 100 system for just $50 
per hour. That includes an operator, various 
tape formats including Beta SP, Macintosh 
and Amiga graphics, and the Video Toaster. 

7 13 -■ 5 9.9- ■.'■'-! 2 3 8 S 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 49 




the tribulation experienced by those who left 
the oppression of the Jim Crow South, only to 
find themselves in a complex and contentious 
cityscape. The program, directed by the team 
of Andrea Ades Vasquez, Pennee Bender, and 
Josh Brown, uses the story of northern migra- 
tion to cover issues including the rise of Black 
politics, the July 1919 race riot, and the "New 
Negro" movement. American Social History 
Project, 99 Hudson St., NY, NY, 10013; (212) 
966-4248. 




by Ryan Deussing 

America as a work-in-progress — that's the 
image director Andrea Simon wants to create 
with Talk to Me: Americans in 
Conversation, her one -hour film featuring 
interviews with residents of American commu- 
nities as disparate as the Espanola Valley of 
northern New Mexico and the "Lincoln 
Country" of southern Illinois. The film juxta- 
poses imagery of American icons with very per- 
sonal reflections by Americans about who they 
are and where they come from. Weaving cul- 
tural lineage and national identity to create a 
portrait of America on a personal scale, the 
film, which debuted on PBS on January 17, 
raises provacative questions about the forces 
that hold a nation like America together, as 
well as those that could pull it apart. Arcadia 
Pictures, 157 West 79th St., NY, NY, 10024; 
(212) 580-1299. 

Narrated by a Mississippi barber and a 
sharecropper who organized migration clubs 
from the South to Chicago, Up South (30 
min.) portrays the dramatic story of African- 
American migration to northern industrial 
cities during WWI. Through letters, stories, 
songs, photographs, and art, the film depicts 



Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes 
and the American Press, Rick Goldsmith's 
debut feature-length documentary, was recent- 
ly named Best of Festival at November's 
Northwest Documentary Film Fest in Seattle 
and received the John O'Connor Film Award 
from the American Historical Association in 
January. A remarkable and unsung figure, the 
journalist George Seldes covered WWI, the 
Russian Revolution, the rise of European fas- 
cism, the dawn of the Cold War, and the 
McCarthy era, offending people from Gen. 
George Pershing to Benito Mussolini along the 
way. He also published his own weekly journal 
of muckraking and investigative reporting that 
exposed fraud, censorship, and the collusion 
between big business and the media. The film 
is narrated by Susan Sarandon and features a 
dramatic reading of Seldes's written words by 
Edward Asner. Goldsmith Productions, (510) 
849-3225; Rgoldfilm@aol.com. 

Violence is treated seriously in Never, 
Again, Forever (60 min.), which traces the 
story of the Jewish Defense League from its 
founding in Brooklyn to the controversy sur- 
rounding its activities in Israel, particularly in 
the occupied territories. Directors Danae Elon 
and Pierre Chainet describe their documentary 



as "a film about the sensation of hatred" 
which aims to expose the truth about all 
forms of fundamentalism — "paved with good 
intentions, it is a road to hell." The film pre- 
miered at the Hampton's International Film 
Festival and also screened at the Jewish 
Film/Video Festival at Lincoln Center. Danae 
Elon/Pierre Chainet, 303 E. Houston St., 
NYC 10002. 

Currently in postproduction and seeking 
completion funds, Visas and Virtues (30 
min.) tells the more uplifting story of Chiune 
Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who dared to 
rescue thousands of European Jews in 1940 
by issuing transit visas, which allowed them 
free passage to safety. Shot in one week and 
utilizing a crew of over 200 volunteers, the 
film has received recognition by Yad Vashem, 
the Israeli government entity which declared 
Sugihara "Righteous Among Nations," the 
highest honor and recognition from the 
Jewish people. Cedar Grove Productions, 
Box 29772, LA, CA 90029-0772; tmt@ 
tmsp.com 

Filmmaker Danny Plotnick warns audi- 
ences to brace themselves for the most 
resplendent footnotes of rock'n'roll anti-his- 
tory ever to grace the screen: I'm Not 
Fascinating: The Movie! (50 min.). The 
super 8 feature chronicles the pointless 
shenanigans of Bay Area ne'er-do-wells the 
Icky Boyfriends and their futile quest for rock 
stardom. The San Francisco Bay Guardian 
calls I'm Not Fascinating "a weirdly beautiful 
spectacle of self-defeat." Danny Plotnick 
(415) 821-9322; s8romeo@aol.com; www. 
sirius.com/~sstark/mkr/dp/dp-bio.html. 



ATTENTION 
AIVF MEMBERS 

The "In & Out of Production" column 
is a regular feature in The Independent, 
designed to give AIVF members an 
opportunity to keep the organization 
and others interested in independent 
media informed about current work. 
We profile works-in-progress as well as 
recent releases. These are not critical 
reviews, but informational descriptions. 
AIVF members are invited to submit 
detailed information about their latest 
project for inclusion in the column. 
Send descriptions and black & white 
photos to: The Independent, In 6k Out of 
Production, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., 
NY, NY 10013. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



listings do not constitute an endorsement, 
since some details may change after the 
magazine goes to press, we recommend that 
you contact the festival directly before 
sending preview cassettes. deadline for 
submitting a call for entries in the festival 
column is 2-1/2 months prior to cover date 
(e.g., march 15 for june issue). all blurbs 
should include: festival dates, categories, 
prizes, entry fees, deadlines, formats & 
contact info. to improve our reliability and 
make this column more beneficial, we 
encourage all mediamakers to contact fivf 
with changes, criticism, or praise for festi- 
vals profiled. 

Domestic 

CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTI- 
VAL, Aug. 13-17, IL. Now in its 4th year, com- 
petitive festival encourages low-budget film/video 
makers and provides a venue for underground, 
ind. and experimental flm/video works "outside of 
the entertainment mainstream." Controversial, 
cutting edge, transgressive, politically incorrect & 
beyond. Both first-time directors & professionals 
welcome. Past guests have included Richard Kern, 
Kenneth Anger, Guy Maddin, George Kuchar. 
1997 guests to be announced. CUFF also presents 
special screenings throughout the year. Awards 
given to best feature, short, experimental, doc, 
and viewers' choice. Entry fee: $25 shorts (under 
60 min.); $35 feature. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, S- 
8, S-VHS, VHS, Beta, 3/4", Hi8, pixelvision, CD- 
ROM; preview on 1/2". Deadline May 15th. 
Contact Jay Bliznick, Festival Director or Bryan 
Wendorf, Programmer/Publicity Director. Chicago 
Underground Film Festival (submissions), 2501 
North Lincoln Ave., Ste. 278, Chicago, IL 60614; 
(773) 866-8660; fax (773) 866-8660; danutel3@ 
aol.com. 

DOMINIQUE DUNNE MEMORIAL VIDEO 
COMPETITION AND FESTIVAL, May, CO. 
27th yr of int'l competition for originally produced 
videos by high school students, open to high 
school grades 9-12 or college freshman entering a 
film produced w/in past 12 mos. Entries must be 
sole work of student filmmaker or filmmakers, w/ 
2/3 original content. Awards in dramatic/narrative 
(8-24 min.), experimental (3-12 min.), stop 
action/computer animated (non prize cat). 1st 
prize $300, 2nd prize $200, 3rd prize $100. Entry 
fee: $10 & SASE. Formats: 1/2". Deadline: Apr. 
12. Contact: David Manley, fest coordinator, 
Dominique Dunne Memorial Video Competition 
& Festival, Fountain Valley School of Colorado, 
Colorado Springs, CO 80911; (719) 392-2657. 

JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL, July, CA. Estab in 
1980, noncompetitive fest (under annual theme 
Independent Filmmakers: Looking at Ourselves) 
showcases new Ind American Jewish-subject cine- 
ma &. diverse selection of foreign films. Fest pre- 
sents dramatic, doc, experimental & animated 
shorts & features about Jewish history, culture & 
identity. Filmmakers need not be Jewish; films 



selected by subject. Special programs vary from yr to 
yr & have include Russian, Sephardic & Latino pro- 
grams. 30-35 films showcased each yr. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Deadline: Mar. 15. Contact: 
Janis Plotkin, director or Sam Ball, assistant director, 
Jewish Film Festival, 346 9th Street, San Francisco, 
CA 94103; (415) 621-0556; fax: (415) 548-0536; 
Jewishfilm@ aol.com. 

JEWISH VIDEO COMPETITION, June, CA. 
Now in 4th yr, competition accepts entries on Jewish 
themes from every level &. cat of prod, includ. audio 
& interactive media. All original formats accepted 
but entries must be submitted on VHS-NTSC, pro- 
duced w/in preceding 3 1/2 yrs & be under 100 min. 
Awards: Jurors' Choice (share $750); Jurors' Citation 
(share $500), Directors' Choice (share $250); 
Honorable Mention (certificate & screenings); 
Lindheim Award for program that best explores polit- 
ical & social relationship between Jews & other eth- 
nic & religious groups. Winners screened at Magnes 
Museum for 2 mos, as well as cable & other venues. 
Formats: 3/4", 1/2", Beta. Entry fee $25 under 30 
min., $35 over 31 min. Deadline: Mar. 31. Contact: 
Bill Chayes, video competition coordinator, Judah L. 
Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 
94705; (510) 549-6952; fax: (510) 849-3673; jew- 
video@slip.net or wchayes@aol.com, http://www. 
slip.net/~jewvideo.. 

MARIN COUNTY NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
SHORT FILMS, July 2-6, CA. Competitive fest 
accepting films under 30 min. Up to $2,400 awarded 
in cats of student, independent & animated. Films 
screened during Marin County Fair. Early entry fee: 
$20. Late entry fee: $25. Early deadline: Mar. 21. Late 
deadline: Apr. 11. Contact: Marin County Fair & 
Exposition, Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 
94903; (415) 499-6400. 

NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL, June 17-22, 
MA. 2nd yr. Fest honors screenwriters & their craft, 
held on Nantucket Island. Focus on art of storytelling 
though film, include short & feature length films, 
docs, Q&A w/ filmmakers, staged readings, panel dis- 
cussions w/ industry leaders. Entries must not have 
had commercial distribution or US broadcast. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on 3/4" or 1/2". 
Entry fee: $40 & SASE. Deadline: Apr. 18. Contact: 
Jill Goode, Nantucket Film Festival, Box 688, Prince 
St. Station, New York, NY 10012; (212) 642-6339; 
http://www.nantucketfilmfestival.org. 

NEWARK BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, July, NJ. 6- 
wk summer fest of films by African-American film- 
makers &. films featuring history & culture of Black 
people in America & elsewhere. Fest, now over 2 
decades, has screened over 500 films before total 
audiences of almost 85,000. Paul Robeson Awards are 
biennial competition. Fest accepts noncommercial, 
ind. films & videos completed in previous 2 yrs in cats 
of doc, non-doc, animation & experimental. Original 
16mm films &. videos released w/in previous 2 yrs 
considered; industrial, commercial or studio prods 
ineligible. Cash prizes awarded at discretion of judges. 
Entry fee: $25 (Robeson competiton). Deadline: early 
March. Contact: Program Coordinator, Newark 
Black Film Festival, Newark Museum, 49 
Washington Street, Box 540, Newark, NJ 07101- 
0540; (201) 596-6550; fax: (201) 642-0459. 




by Kathryn Bows 




SLICE OF LIFE FILM & VIDEO SHOWCASE, 

mid-July, PA. Held at Penn State Univ., 15th edition 
features observational doc films & videos, incl. those 
using experimental techniques. Fest "brings high 
quality doc work from around the country to large, 
intelligent, appreciative central PA audiences." 
Narrative works & works longer than 30 min. not 
accepted; shorter entries encouraged. Winning pro- 
ducers receive cash prize &. certificate. Entry fee: $25. 
Formats: 16mm, 3/4"; preview on 16mm & 1/2". 
Deadline: April 1. Contact: Sedgwick Heskett, dir., 
Documentary Resource Center, 106 Boalsburg Rd., 
Box 909, Lemont, PA 16851; (814) 234-1945; fax: 
234-0939. 

SMOKY MOUNTAIN/NANTAHALA MEDIA 
FESTIVAL, Apr. 11-13, NC. All lengths & formats 
of works in several cats accepted: feature film, 
drama/short features, doc, experimental/visual art, 
animation/graphic, industrial, commercial/promo- 
tional, student, audio/experimental, audio sound- 
track, scriptwriting, CD multimedia. Special awards 
given to outdoor subjects, themes &. artists in all divi- 
sions. Entry fee: general $19, student $10, distributor 
$25, colleges & universities $100 per 20 entries. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, 3/4", 1/2". Deadline: 
Mar. 14 (Mar. 28 w/ $10 additional fee). Contact: 
Smoky Mountain Art Center, Box 1068, Bryson City, 
NC 28713. 

WEST PALM BEACH INDEPENDENT FILM 
FESTIVAL, May30-Junel, FL. Showcase for film & 
video from Florida. Competition open to prof, ama- 
teur, student work. Cats: fiction, doc, experimental, 
music video, animation. Send 3/4" or 1/2" only w/ 
synopsis, all screenings video. Deadline: April 1. 
Entry Fee: $10. Contact: Kris Kemp, TWPBIFF, 
528A Clematis St., West Palm Beach, FL 33401; 
(561)804-9171; fax 833-9966. 

Foreign 

CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL/INTERNATIONAL CRITICS WEEK, May 

9-21, France. Now in 36th edition, this is the section 
of the Cannes Film Festival devoted to work of first or 
second-time directors. Feature-length fiction & docs 
eligible. Productions must have been completed after 
April 1996 and cannot have been previously present- 
ed in competition section of major European film fest 
(e.g. Venice, San Sebastian, Berlin). Section also fea- 
tures short films under 30 min. Awards: Best Feature 
Prize: 100,000FF ($20,000) & Best Short Film Prize: 
50,000FF ($10,000). Jean Roy, chief of Int'l Critics 
Week, will be in NYC Mar. 18-25 to screen new 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 51 



The art 



of renting. 



9 2 9 



4 2 3 



one 



a rt 



avid rentals 






D.R. REIFF 
& ASSOCIATES 



ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

BROKERS 

320 WEST 57 ST 

NEW YORK, NY 10019 

(212)603-0231 FAX (212) 247-0739 




American features, docs & short films at Tribeca Film 
Center Screening Room; entries can be screened in 
16mm, super 16mm or 35mm. Works-in-progress can 
be screened in interlock system or video projection 
(but completed film must be ready for fest presenta- 
tion). Screening fees to participate in NY screenings: 
$325 features, $275 docs, $95 shorts, $75 student 
shorts. Deadline: Mar. 10; deadline for receiving 
prints at Tribeca: Mar. 14. Contact fest's US rep: 
Sandy Mandelberger, Int'l Media Resources, 599 
Broadway, 8th fl, New York, NY 10012; (212) 941- 
1464; fax: (212) 431-0329; intlmed@sunset.net 

EUROPEAN MEDIA ART FESTIVAL, May 7-11, 
Germany. Over 140 experimental films & videos, as 
well as computer 6k video installations. CD-ROM, 
text contributions & Internet projects showcased at 
this fest, one of largest annual events for innovative 
& experimental works in those fields. Open to 
"experiments, to the extraordinary, to all those work- 
ing methods which, using the most diverse media, 
create intelligent, radical or ironic worlds of symbols 
6k signs in today's digital age." All film & video works 
must have been completed w/in previous yr. Awards 
go to best German experimental film or video prod. 
Best of cat media awards. In special programs, cur- 
rent political, societal 6k artistic topics explored. An 
int'l student forum, retros, workshops 6k open air 
events are also held. Appl. for installations, expand- 
ed media & exhibition projects should enclose 
detailed calculation of costs, precise description, 
photo material 6k video documentation if possible. 
Selected films/ videos compensated w/ DM40/minute 
with a minimum of DM40 6k maximum DM160. No 
entry fee (but return of preview material requires 
DM20). Deadline: Mar. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2", S-8, Beta, 8mm, installations, Internet. CD- 
ROM. Entry fee: None. Contact: Alfred Rotert, 
director, European Media Art Festival, Box 1861, 
Hasestrasse 45a, D-49008 Osnabruck, Germany; tel. 
011 49 541 21658; fax: 28327; emaf@bionic.zer- 
berus.de; hup: '/www. emaf.de. 

HUESCA INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM 
FESTIVAL, June 6-14, Spain. Founded in 1971, 
competitive showcase for Spanish 6k foreign short 
films has aim of "the dissemination of image as a con- 
tribution to the better knowledge 6k fraternity among 
the nations of the world." Awards: "Ciudad de 
Huesca" Golden Danzante (1,000,000 ptas.); Silver 
Danzante (500,000 ptas); Bronze Danzante (250,000 
ptas.). Other awards: Award "Cacho Pallero" to best 
Latin American short film, Award "Joaquin Costa" of 
the Institute de Estudios Aloaragoneses to best 
Spanish short film; Award "Francisco Garcia De 
Paso" to short film that best emphasizes human val- 
ues; Award "Casa de America" to best Latin 
American photography director. No thematic restric- 
tions except no films dealing w/ tourism or publicity. 
Entries must be unawarded in other fests in Spain, 
produced after 1996, and be under 30 nun. Oi 
approx. 400 entries received each year, about 170 
shown. Deadline: April 1. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Entry fee: None. Contact: Jose Mana Escriche, 
comite de direccion, Festival International 
Cortometraje "Ciudad de Huesca", Apartado 174, 
22080 Huesca, Spain; tel: 011 34 9 74 21 25 82; tax 
01134 9 74 2100 65. 

KROK INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FILM 



52 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



FESTIVAL, Aug. 12-26, Russia/Ukraine. ASIFA- 
recognized fest is held aboard ship bound for voyage 
Kiev-Dnepropetrovsk-Zaporozhy-Odessa- 
Sevastopol-Gourzuf (Artek, an int'l camp for chil- 
dren) -Kherson-Kane v-Kie v. Fest is only event in 
Community of Independent States (CIS) sponsored 
by both Russia & Ukraine. Aim of fest is familiariza- 
tion, exchange of information & experience w/in 
professional animation environment & promotion of 
creative incentives for participants to seek new 
ideas, styles, techniques & technologies. Program 
includes variety of film screenings (competition & 
non-competition program from about 40 countries, 
retros of prominent animation masters, presentations 
of national animation schools) & 3 -day animation 
show at Artek. US Contact: Anne Borin, c/o 
Donnell Media Center, 10 W 53rd St., NY, NY 
10019; (212) 362-3412; fax: 496-1090. Address in 
Ukraine: Krok International Animation Festival, 6, 
Saksaganary St., Kiev 252033, Ukraine; tel: 011 38 
044 2275280; fax: 011 38044 227 3130/2960908. 

MERRANO TELEVISION FESTIVAL, June, 
Italy. Now in 2nd edition, fest is concentrating part 
of its programming on American TV. Looking for 
independently produced television pilots of any kind. 
Contact: Merano TV Festival, 80 4th Ave., 3rd fl., 
New York, NY 10003; (212) 979-6305; fax: (212) 
979-5513. 

MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 
OF CINEMA AND NEW MEDIA, June 5-15, 
Canada. A successor to the Festival International du 
Nouveau Cinema et de la Video de Montreal, which 
was founded in 1971 as a showcase for innovative, 
ind. features & shorts of all genres, the first edition 
of this event, directed toward the future of cinema, 
will take place this year. Fest is supported by Daniel 
Langlois, president & founder of Softimage, & 
Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art & Technology, as 
well as Telefilm Canada, SODEC, MUC Arts 
Council & City of Montreal. The foundation is also 
supporting the forthcoming creation of a new cinema 
6k multimedia arts complex in association w/ Cinema 
Parallele; the complex will house a variety of activi- 
ties relating to new media, including 3 cinemas, a 
video club specializing in auteur cinema, a cafe & 
exhibition hall. Structure also includes interactive 
web site w/ wealth of information on cinema & elec- 
tronic arts, operated in collaboration w/ Virtual Film 
Festival. Fest includes int'l selection which "will 
exemplify all the new trends in cinema & electronic 
arts by presenting the latest work along w/ retrospec- 
tives, homages & special events" & will include an 
int'l short film competition and "devote a night to an 
explosive cocktail of short films." Deadline: Mar. 15. 
Formats 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", S-8, Beta, 8mm, 
installations. Entry fee: feature $50Cdn, short 
$30Cdn. Contact: Claude Chamberlain, 
director/Bernard Boulad, executive manager, 
Festival International du Cinema et des Nouveaux 
Medias de Montreal, 3668 Boul. Saint-Laurent, 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2x 2V4; (514) 843- 
4711; fax: (514) 843-9398. 

PESARO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF 
NEW CINEMA, June, Italy. Founded in 1965, non- 
competitive fest is showcase for films by young direc- 
tors 6Vor ind. works & or works coming from coun- 
tries new to film prods. Since late '70s, fest devoted 




1997 Call For Entries 





LONG ISLAND 
FILM FESTIVAL 

14th Annual Film/Video Festival 

Staller Center for the Arts 

University at Stony Brook 

July 18-August 3, 1997 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 5/1/97) 
Long Island Film Festival 

c/o PO Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 • 516-853-4800 
From 10-6, Mon-Fri 



The Long Island Film Festival is co-produced by The Long Island 
Film & TV Foundation and the Staller Center for the Arts, University 
at Stony Brook in association with the Suffolk County Motion Picture 
and Television Commission. It is sponsored in part by the Suffolk 
County Department of Economic Development. 



JURAS GRAPHICS 

Animations 

You want it to look good and believable. 

*We don't just simutate it *We ma/^e reatity. 

M.S.C.S degree (graphics) // all top pro equip Inch SGI 

Call (847) 265-8811 
On the Web: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~juras 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



to nat'l film prods (Arab countries, China, Spain, 
Japan, Latin America, India, Soviet Union, East 
Europe, Far East Asia, Iran, American ind., South 
Korea, etc.)- Annual special event dedicated to 
Italian film director or film genre. Features, shorts, 
fiction, docs accepted. Entries must be Italian pre- 
mieres. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", Beta. 
Entry fee: None. Contact: Adriano Apra, director. 
Mostra International del Nuovo Cinema, Via 
Villafranca, 20, 00185 Rome, Italy; tel: Oil 39 6 491 
156/445 66 43; fax: Oil 39 6 491 163. 

ST. PETERSBURG INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FESTIVAL FOR DOCUMENTARY, SHORT & 
ANIMATED FILMS, "MESSAGE TO MAN," 
June 22-29. Russia. Now in 7th edition, FIAPF-rec- 
ognized fest accepts feature doc (up to 120 min.), 
short doc (up to 40 min.) short fiction (up to 60 
min.), animated films (up to 60 min.). Program incl 
int'l competition, best debut (1st professional as well 
as student & graduate films), int'l competition 6k spe- 
cial programs. Entries must have been completed 
after Jan. 1, 1996. Awards: Grand Prix "Golden 
Centaur" & $5000 for best fest film; Prize "Centaur" 
6k $2000 for best feature-length doc, best short doc, 
best short feature 6k best animated film. Prizes in 
Debut Films Competition are Prize "Centaur" 6k 
$3000, Festival Diploma 6k $1000 (2 awards. Films 
screened in main competition hall 6k St. Petersburg 
art houses. Formats: 35mm, 16mm; preview on 1/2" 
VHS. Entry fee: $35 (incl shipping costs; feature- 
length films may incur more shipping costs). 
Deadline: April 7. Contact U.S. coordinator Anne 
Borin, St. Petersburg Film Festival, c/o Donnell 
Media Center, 10 W 53rd St., NY, NY 10019; (212) 



362-3412. Fest address: Mikhail Litviakov, St. 
Petersburg International Film Festival "Message to 
Man," 12 Karavannaya 191011, St. Petersburg, 
Russia; tel: 011 7 812 235 2660/230 2200; fax: 011 7 
812 135 3995. 

TORONTO WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FES- 
TIVAL, June 2-8, Canada. Founded in 1994, com- 
petitive fest is largest independent short film fest in 
N. America 6k only one w/ marketplace for shorts. 
Marketplace attracts buyers, distributors, fests 6k net- 
works from around world 6k has all films submitted to 
fest (over 1,000 in 1996). Awards for Best Film in 
Animation, Drama, Doc, Experimental 6k Children's 
cats. Fest also has competition where films can be 
selected to screen in Famous Players in Canada 6k on 
Air Canada internationally. Cash awards given for 
Best Int'l 6k Best Canadian Film. Other programs are 
Students 6k Famous Actors films. Short film entries 
should be under 40 min. Entries must have been 
completed w/in 2 yrs prior to deadline. Rated one of 
5 top short film fests in world in NY Times. No entry 
fee. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Deadline: Mar. 15. 
Contact: Brenda Sherwood, executive director, 
Toronto Worldwide Short Film Fest, 60 Atlantic 
Ave., Ste. 110, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6K 1X9; 
(416) 535-8506; fax: (416) 535-8342; twsff(gidi- 
rect.com. 

WELLINGTON FILM FESTIVAL, July, New 
Zealand. Noncompetitive fest, now in its 26th yr, pre- 
sented by New Film Festival, a nonprofit charitable 
trust dedicated to increasing options available to 
New Zealand filmgoers 6k showcase opportunities 
available to filmmakers. From core program of 120 



features (6k as many shorts), fest simultaneously pre- 
sents Auckland 6k Wellington Film Festivals, along 
w/ smaller "selected highlights," programs that trav- 
el to the South Island cities of Dunedin 6k 
Christchurch. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", Beta. 
No entry fee. Preview tapes by invitation only. 
Deadline: late April. Contact: Bill Gosden, New 
Zealand Film Festival, Box 9544, Te Aro, 
Wellington, New Zealand; tel: 011 64 4 385 0162; 
fax: 011 64 4 801 7304; enzedfft&actrix.gen.nz; 
http://www.enzedff. conz (includes entry details 6k 
forms) . 

YAMAGATA INTERNATIONAL DOCUMEN- 
TARY FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 6-13, Japan. 
Biennial festival promotes the "best works of docu- 
mentary art" in competition and a variety of special 
events. Sponsored by Yamagata City, 360 km north- 
east of Tokyo. Entries should be unreleased publicly 
in Japan prior to the festival, produced after April 1 
of the year 2 years before each festival, and feature 
length. Grand Prize, known as the Robert and 
Frances Flaherty Prize (¥3,000,000); Mayor's Prize 
(¥1,000,000); two runner up prizes (¥300,000 
each), and one special prize (¥300,000). U.S. con- 
tact: Gordon Hitchens, 214 West 85th Street, Apt. 
3W, New York, NY 10024-3914; tel/fax: (212) 877- 
6856. Entry fee: None. Formats: 35mm, 16mm . 
Deadline: March 31. Contact: Kazuyuki Yano, direc- 
tor, Tokyo Office, Yamagata International 
Documentary Film Festival, Tokyo Office, Kitagawa 
Bldg., 4th fl., 6-42 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 
162, Japan; 011(81-3) 3266-9704; fax: 011(81-3) 
3266-9700; yidfftg bekkoame.or.jp 




stude 



Oft 

=1 

For more information, a resource guide and 
a copy of the video Best of Festival '96, contact: 

WPFVF • 46 Fox Hill Road, Bernardston, MA 

01337 • TL: 800 638-9464 • FX: 413 648-9204 

eM: info@wpfvf.com • www.wpfvf.com 

Sponsored by Sopris Foundation, Searchlight 

Films & Population Communications International 




TAOS TALKING 
PICTURE FESTIVAL 

APRIL 10- 13 1997 

An international rendezvous of cinema, 
its artists and its audience 

Celebrate the moving image in one of the most dramatic locations 

in the world, Taos, New Mexico, the soul of the Southwest 

and dwelling place of the independent spirit. 




Festival Highlights 

• Four days of screenings with more than 
60 new international films and videos, 
including features, documentaries, shorts, 
and animation. 

• Awards, Tributes and Retrospectives, along 
with he presentation of the Innovation 
Award - 5 acres of Taos land and the 
MovieMaker Breakthrough Award -$1 ,500 
cash and a film production package, includ- 
ing $15,000 m post-production services from 
Allied's NEW INDEPENDENTS LAB. 




A comprehensive Media Literacy Forum 
covering Censorship; Television, the 
V-Chip and Media Ratings; Product 
Placement in Film and Television; and 
Alternative Media Showcases. 
Gatherings and galas for filmmakers and 
fans in the warmth of Taos' art galleries 
and restaurants, as well as the Opening 
Night Fiesta, Filmmaker Receptions, and 
Celebrity Party. 



Taos Talking Pictures ■ 216M North Pueblo Rd. #216, • Taos, NM 87571 

(T) 505-751-0637 • (F) 505-751-7385 
email: ttpix@taosnet.com • website: http'.llwww.taosneLcomlttpixl 



54 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



classified ads of up to 240 characters 
(including spaces & punctuation) cost $25/ 
issue for aivf members, $35 for nonmembers; 
classified ads of 240-480 characters cost 
$45/issue for aivf members, $65 for nonmem- 
bers. include valid member id# when sub- 
mitting ads. ads exceeding length will be 
edited. all ad copy should be typed and 
accompanied by check or money order 
payable to: fivf, 304 hudson st., ny, ny 10013. to 
pay by credit card, you must include: card 
type (visa/mc); card number; name on card; 
expiration date; billing address & cardhold- 
er's daytime phone. ads received without all 
information will be discarded. advertisers 
wishing to run a classified more than once 
must pay for each insertion and indicate the 
number of insertions on submitted copy. ads 
running five or more times receive a $5 dis- 
count per issue. deadlines are 1st of each 
month, two months prior to cover date (e.g. 
march 1 for may issue). 

Buy • Rent • Sell 

9 GIG AVID HARD DRIVES for rent in NYC as 
low as $125/wk; will ship in U.S. Use w/ any non- 
linear system. Also JVC GR-DV1 digital camcorder 
for sale w/ 5 yr full warranty, $1700. Call (212) 406- 
0180. 

BETACAM SP CAMERA PACKAGE for rent. 
BVW 507 camera, audio & lights, $400 per day. 
Top-notch crews available. (212) 620-0933. 

D-VISION PRO 2.2 NONLINEAR EDITING 
SYSTEM 9 gig drive, Dat BU, CD ROM. 2XMitsu 
giant 20" montiors. Roll ball, keyboard. Lots of 
goodies. Used on one job. Perfect. Paid $20,000. 
Sell for $9,800 or best offer. (203) 637-0445. 

FILM FRIENDS A one-stop production services 
co. w/ 35BL, 16SR, BetaSP pkg, TC Nagra4, TC 
FostexPD-4, SVHS, Steadicam, much more for 
rent. (212) 620-0084. 

FOR SALE pristine condition Media lOOlx 
w/component box & 8 gig array plus platinum sup- 
port $7500. Add a PCI Mac for a pro editing system 
at an unbeatable price. Call Josh (212) 529-2478. 

FOR SALE Sony VX1000 digital camcorder & 20 
unused tapes. Cost $4700. Sell $3500. Used only 

10 hrs. Steve (908) 224-1149. 

LOCATION VAN &. 2 16mm cams: zoom, 
primes, mags, lights, stands, tripod, lots of extras. 
Call for list: All $20,000. (212) 490-9082. 

RENT OR SALE Sony CCD-VX3 Hi8 3-chip 
camera. Extra chargers and batteries. Please call 
(718) 284-2645. 

SONY BVM 1315 RGB monitor. $1500 
Microtime TBC T-320.$500 FORA FA 310 Digital 
TBC $500 Textronicl710B WFMon $400 Magni 
WF/Vec can read Pal & Secam $300 (203) 637- 
0445. 

SONY HI-8 9850 Professional Deck with SMPT 
card. This is the highest quality most professional 
Hi-8 deck with 4 tracks, built in TBC. Same as 
Beta SP deck but smaller format. $3,500. (203) 
637-0445. 



VIDEO EQUIPMENT Sony BVU-800 $2000; 
BVU-850 $3000; VO-5850 $1500; VO-5800 $1500; 
VO-5600 $600; VP-5000 $300; VP-7000 $400; VO- 
7600 $800; VO-6800 $400; BVU-150 $1000. Lots 
more, DA's, Mons, Scopes, etc. John (201) 591-0523. 

Distribution 

FANLIGHT PRODUCTIONS distrib of award- 
winning film & video on disabilities, health care, 
mental health, family/social issues, etc. seeks new 
work for distrib to educ. markets. Karen McMillen, 
Fanlight Productions, 47 Halifax St., Boston, MA 
02130; (800) 937-4113. 

THE CINEMA GUILD leading film/video/multime- 
dia distributor, seeks new documentary, fiction, edu- 
cational and animation programs for distribution. 
Send videocassettes or disc for evaluation to The 
Cinema Guild, 1697 Broadway, Suite 506, NY, NY 
10019-5904, (212) 246-5522; fax 5525; email 
TheCinemaG@aol.com. Ask for distribution services 
brochure. 

UNDERGROUND CINEMA, a distributor special- 
izing in films for the African-American market, seeks 
entertaining short films for a promotional video 
showcasing new black talent. In return, we'll help 
finance your new feature. Call (212) 426-1723. 

Freelancers 

16MM/35MM PROD. PKG w/ cinematographer. 
Complete pkg includes 16mm or Arri 35BL w/ video 
assist, Nagra & sound kit, Mole/Lowel lights, dolly, jib 
crane, grip equip. Credits in features, shorts, docs, 
music videos. Call Tom (201) 807-0155. 

A-l DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Well 
established with kick-ass reel, over 10 features in the 
can. Arri SR, Sony Beta SP HMI'S. Ask me about the 
double maff gaff. I'm fast, efficient and not a vegetar- 
ian. Special rates on my Media 100 for films I shoot. 
Call (203) 254-7370. 

AWARD WINNING EDITOR Avid, video, film. 
Experience in shorts, docs, commercials, etc. Looking 
for more feature work. Flexible rates, good connec- 
tions, call for reel. Todd Feuer (516) 889-0683. 

BETA SP VIDEOGRAPHER New camera, lights, 
mics, the works, will travel, give me a call. Lots of 
experience, will work with your budget. Call Todd 
(516) 889-0683. 

BRENDAN C. FLYNT Director of Photography w/ 
fifteen feature credits 6k dozen shorts. Owns 35 Arri, 
Super 16/16 Aaton, HMI's, Tungsten, and Dolly w/ 
Tracks. Call for quotes and reel at ph/fx: (212) 226- 
8417 or ela292@aol.com. Credits: Tromeo and Juliet, 
The Offering, Fine Young Gentlemen, Brushfire. 

CAMERA ASSISTANT Owner Aaton S16 camera 
pkg. Experienced, punctual, dedicated. Also experi- 
enced Avid editor w/ creative vision. Call for reel. 
Andy (718) 797-9051. 

CAMERAMAN Aaton 16mm or Beta-SP prod, 
package includes lighting, audio & car. Awards & 
experience in music video, features, commercials, 
PBS docs, industrials, etc. Professional work ethic. 
David (212) 377-2121. 

CAMERAMAN Award-winning, sensitive, efficient 




shooter w/ 12 yrs. experience in docs, performance, 
corporate, overseas projects. Sony BVW-300A 
Broadcast Beta SP pkg. Rates tailored to project & 
budget. Japanese spoken. Scott, Public Eye 
Productions, (212) 627-1244. 

CAMERAMAN with own package, looking to collab- 
orate on your production. Call Steven at (718) 625- 
0556. 

CAMERAMAN/EDITOR Docs only, film only. 
Credits include (as director/editor/cameraman) : Blood 
in the Face, Feed, The Atomic Cafe; (as cameraman) 
Roger & Me, The War Room. Also: Avid available, low- 
rent. Kevin Rafferty (212) 505-0154. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER Young, talented shooter w/ 
Beta-SP pkg., credits on films by award-winning docu- 
mentary directors. Seeking opportunites on innovative 
feature docs. Very low rates available for exceptional 
projects. Tsuyoshi (718) 243-9144. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER/FILMMAKER Engage 
passionate projects only. Own 16mm, doc, portrait, 
music, political. Lori Hiris (212) 628-3913. 

COMPOSER classically trained rock-and-roller, flu- 
ent in all styles. My specialty: "Symphonic soundtracks 
on a MIDI budget." Docs, features, experimental, mul- 
timedia; small projects or large, flexible rates. 
Experienced, responsive, sympathetic, and fast. Full 
MIDI and Pro Tools setup w/ SMPTE/VITC lockup. 
Credits: A&E/History Channel, NPR, PBS, WGBH, 
KPM Music Libraries. Featured in Millimeter. For video 
or audio demo: Paul Lehrman (617) 393-4888; 
lehrman@pan.com 

COMPOSER Full digital studio, surround sound, SFX 
and sound design, demo available. DDP Music; 
DMDPB@aol.com; tel/fax: (213) 665-7955, Diego De 
Pietri. 

COMPOSER Astounding original music that suits all 
of your needs in all styles. Scored features, TV, shorts. 
Credits include PBS, Sundance. Efficient, timely, pro- 
duction of scores! Leonard R Lionnet, B.M. Eastman 
School, MA. NYU (212) 980-7689. 

COMPOSER who has a passion for film scoring. 
Creative and unique experience in a variety of styles. 
Great award-winning collaborator for all types of pro- 
ductions. For free demo call David Bateman (810) 
358-7399. 

CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 

Lighting Director background. Specialty films my spe- 
cialty. Can give your film that unique "look." 16mm ck 
35mm packages available. Call Charles for reel at 
(212) 295-7878. 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



AMD VfCOffCXS tl/6 '? 

OANcine, til </*•*»■ 

F*I0A\J SATURDAY 

' 0-11 

.... <«U. Ttff «f£( t»u £*W 0«""^ 

SHOOTS w«*PS AuO"Tio«i-«>(f*<ML «f*fliw«S- P«ruifRC 
Z BLOO«5- 'O OOO s» & 

*atcs »^OiCS uwe-.SPre.iALS ft* Jruoewrs /70 MftiCK. -STREET. 'J-YC \l\lHJ-OSCS 















STHccT VIUEU, inc. (212)5947530 

WE ON-LINE FROM ANY NON-LINEAR OFF-LINE EDIT 

(AVID, MEDIA 100, D- VIS ION) 

FASTER, CHEAPER AND BETTER THAN THEY CAN. 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Betacam SP on-line w/ DFS500 digital FX audio mix $95.00 

Beta-Beta (2 machine) $75.00 Hi8-Beta $75.00 

3/4 - 3/4 $60.00 HI8-3/4 $60.00 

3/4-3/4 self edit $40.00 VHS-VHS self edit $10.00 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $25.00 

Love and understanding are on the house 



TIMECODE SERVICES 

ALLTIMECODE BURN-IN'S ARE ONLY $35/HR. 
WE TIMECODE YOUR HI8 TAPES 

Dupes to Betacam SP $45/hr Dupes to 3/4 $25/hr 

Dupes to VHS $10/hr (includes tape) 

HI8-Betacam SP w/VHS time code window $50/hr 

We are very precise and very nice 

PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Betacam SP package $650.00 

Pro HI8 E.N.G. package $250.00 



NOT JUST TECHNOLOGY, IDEAS! 



MediaIOO® Suites 

WITH OR WITHOUT EDITOR 

= LOTS of media storage 
= Custom graphics, FX, 
3-D Animation with 
after effects 
electric image 
photoshop, etc... 
= conversion for cd-rom 

and internet 
= camera pkgs. & crews 
= voice-over booth 

great noho location 




DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY cameraman 
available w/ own equip, to shoot features, music 
videos, commercials, etc. Steadicam also available. 
Call for info &. reel (212) 929-7728 or (800) 592- 
3350. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY If you dream 
about Hollywood, you need a super-class DP: me. I'll 
make an incredible film with my own equipment. 
Contact Natasha (718) 745-5139. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting features, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits 
include features, commercials, industrials, short films, 
music videos. Aaton 16/S-16 pkg avail. Call Abe 
(914) 783-3159. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting projects. Owner of Aaton S16 camera 
pkg, 35mm pkg &. Avid 8000 also avail. Credits incl. 
features, docs, commercials 6k music videos in US, 
Europe, Israel. Call for reel. Adam (212) 861-6234. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ 35 mm 
Arriflex B camera available. Great reel, affordable 
rates. Crew on request. Call for reel: David (212) 
679-9510. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY SI 6mm, 
16mm, 35mm, Experienced, credits include features, 
videos, docs. Reel avail. Own Arri SR16, small tung- 
sten pkg., sound pkg. + xtras. LKB Prod. (718) 802- 
9874. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ complete 
Arri 16 BL camera pkg. Rates are flexible & I work 
quickly. Features, shorts, music videos. Much indie 
film experience. I can work deals that save you 
money. Willing to travel. Matthew (617) 244-6730 or 
(914) 439-5459 for reel. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with extensive 
experience in Europe and US looking for interesting 
feature film projects, feature-length documentaries. 
Demo reel avail. Please call Igor at (212) 473-4571. 

DOCUMENTARY DP with 3 -chip digital 
camera steadicam/lights will shoot your enviromen- 
tal/socially-oriented project. Also commercial/fiction 
work, film or video. Graduate education, bilingual, 
good spirited. Will travel. Alejandro (201) 295-9032. 

EDITOR Experienced Avid editor available for free- 
lance work on independent docs and features. Strong 
documentary background. Interested in projects 
challenging in form and content. Rates adjustable 
based on project. Please call John (212) 787-5481. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY Frequent con- 
tributor to "Legal Briefs" column in The Independent 
& other magazines, offers legal services to film & 
video community on projects from development to 
distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact: Robert L. 
Seigel, Esq. (212) 307-7533. 

INSANELY FAST EDITOR w network credits and 
a brand- spankin' new Avid is poised to tackle your 
project or just rent you the Avid (MC Offline, Beta 
deck, 36+ gigs). Need I say rates that will knock your 
socks off? Doug (212) 665-6708. 

LOCATION SOUND Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/ 
time code Nagra &. DAT, quality mics. Consider pro- 
jects anywhere, anytime. Reduced rates for low-bud- 
get films/videos. Harvey & Fred Edwards (518) 677- 
5720; beeper (800) 796-7363 (ext/pin 1021996), 
edfilms(a worldnet.att.net 



56 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



MUSIC FOR FILM Versatile, flexible composing & 
production team w/ credits and state-of-the-art 
recording facility available for all your soundtrack 
needs. Call for demo (516) 883-2257. 

PRODUCER/ACTOR w/ 8 lead credits (features) 
has trucks, HMI & tungsten lights, RV, 1.7' tulip 
crane, SRI 1-16 camera, offline D2 pro 2.2 all ready 
to go. Make your project happen — no upfront cash. 
Call: Danny (706) 865-1888; fax -5225. 

SCRIPT DOCTOR Let me help you reshape your 
screenplay into something highly saleable and/or 
filmable. Detailed critique by experienced reader on 
plot, characters, dialogue, structure, pacing. Call 
(212) 473-2423. 

STEADICAM Dolly smooth moves w/ the flexibili- 
ty of a hand-held camera. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 
228-4254. 

SU-CITY PICTURES EAST presents The 
Screenplay Doctor, The Movie Mechanic & the Film 
Strategists. Story editors/postproduction specialists 
will analyze your screenplay/treatment/synopsis and 
evaluate your film-in-progress. Major Studio/Indie 
background. Multimedia & Interactive consulta- 
tions. Competitive rates. (212) 219-9224. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in I 
NYC seeking cameraman and soundmen w/ betacam 
video experience to work with our wide array of news 
and news magazine clients. If qualified, contact j 
COA immediately at (212) 505-1911 

Opportunities • Gigs 

COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL (First NY): Junel 
1997. Features, Shorts, Animation. Deadline: March 
31. Format: 35mm, 16mm. Initial entries must be 
1/2" VHS. For entry forms send SASE to NYCFF c/o 
One on One Productions, 126 West 23rd St., NYc| 
10011. Comedies only! 

EARN EXTRA INCOME Earn $200-$500 weekly I 
mailing phone cards. For information send a SASE | 
to: Inc., Box 0887, Miami, FL 33164. 

FRESH AIR FUND seeks photography teacher to I 
lead studio and documentary classes during 9 wk. 
summer residential camp in Fishkill, NY for NYC I 
teens. Prior teaching exp. req'd. Resume to Miriam 
Seidenfeld, 1040 6th Ave., 3rd fl., NYC 10018. EOE. 

P0STPR0DUCTI0N 

$10/HR: VHS SUITE $20: 3/4"-3/4". $15: VHS 
3/4". Open 7 days & eves. Free titles, Amiga & spe- 
cial FX. Also: Hi8, A/B roll, S-8 film, dubs, photo, 
slides, stills, audio, prod., editor/training. The Media 
Loft, 727 6th Ave. (23rd) (212) 924-4893. 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM w/ timecode 9850 
deck w/ timecode generator/reader, 9800 deck w/ 
timecode reader, RM450 controller and two 
13"monitors. Single deck rentals available for 
Avidusers. Negotiable, low rates. (718) 284-2645. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS 8-plate 6k 6-plate fully 
equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr 
access. Downtown, near all subways & Canal St. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM SOUND MIX only $75/hr! Fully equipped 
mix studio for features, shorts, docs. 16mm post ser- 




Production STILLS Limited^ 

■*■ * v ** printed from your 

original camera negative 

A Division of 

Northeast Negative Matchers, Inc. 

Producers! Need a frame of your film in a STILL format? 
Promote your film! STILLS for ads, postcards or posters! 

25 Riverview Terrace • Springfield, MA 01108-1603 
413.736.2177 • 305.940.8878 • 800.370.CUTS 



Hi-8/Befacam Sp 

Packages 

SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
PACKAGE... $400 

SONY, PRO HI BAND 
PACKAGE... $200 

INCLUDED IN EACH PACKAGE: 

■ Light Kit plus Sun Gun w/Battery Belt 

■ Audio Kit plus Shore Field Mixer FP32 

■ Field monitor ■ Fluid tripod 

■ 

VHS -VHS PROFESSIONAL 
EDITING SYSTEM 

DO YOUR HI-8 AND BETACAM SP 
OFF LINE EDITING ON: 

JVC BR8600U to JVC BR8600U 
W/RM86U editing console... $10 per/hr. 

PEOPLE W/AIDS PROJECTS DISCOUNT 



Manahatta Images Corp. 

260 WEST 10TH STREET, STE.1E 
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10014 
212-807-8825 FAX AVAILABLE 



Betacam SP 
Editing 

3/4 SP, Hi-8, DV 
Interformat, Transfers 

40/hr, 300/day, 150/night 

Digital Video 

Camera Packages 
150/day 




1 123 Broadway, Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

212-228-4254 



• Digital Beta On-Line wl DVE 

• Component DV Transfers 
(We have the deck) 

• Tape to Disk (Syquest/Zip) 

• AVID w AVR 75, Pro Tools, 36 Gigs 

Arc Pictures 666 Broadway New York NY 10012 
Phone: 212 982-1101 Fax: 212-982-1168 




March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 57 



vices: picture & sound editorial, ADR, interlock 
screening, 16 mag xfers (.06/ft incl. stock), 16mm 
edgecoding (.01/ft.). Call Tom (201) 807-0155. 

16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUNDTRACKS If 

you want "High Quality" optical sound for your film, 
you need a "High Quality" optical sound negative. 
Call Mike Holloway, Optical Sound Chicago, Inc., 
676 N. LaSalle St., Rm. 404, Chicago, IL 60610. 
(312) 943-1771 or eves. (847) 541-8488. 

AVID AVR 75 SUITE! online/offline editing on 
Media Composer 3000. Bargain rates, swanky space 
conveniently situated at 39th and 5th. Beta SP & 
3/4" video, WVR500 waveform/vector, 3 9-gig dri- 
ves. Call (212) 354-0339. 

AVID 8000 & 1000 SUITES Pleasant, friendly, 
comfortable uptown or midtown locations or deliv- 



ered to your studio. On-line or off-line, AVR 27, 
Protools, reasonable & affordable rates. (212) 595- 
5002 or (718) 885-0955. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. 
Reversal only. Regular 8mm, S-8, or archival 16mm 
to 1" or Betacam-SR We love early B&W & 
Kodachrome. Scene -by- scene only. Correct frame 
rates. For appointment, call (508) 948-7985. 

DOWNTOWN PRODUCTION office for rent, 
400 sq. ft., 4-line phone system w/ voicemail, sepa- 
rate fax line, copier, TWVCR, cable. We cater to 
independent film/videomakers. Broadway/Houston 
area. Weekly/monthly. Call High Voltage Prod- 
uctions at (212) 295-7878. 

EDIT IN ALBANY NY area. Fast video mach. 
computer w/ Sony SVO 5600-5800 SVHS, A/B roll 




SCHOOL OF THE ARTS 



NYU Him 



Summer '97 Session I: May 19nJune 27 
Session II: June 30-August 8 

During the summer, the Tisch School makes its 
professionally oriented curriculum available to 
students from around the world. Tisch offers 
100 summer courses in the performing 
and media arts. 

Film Production 

• Directing • Cinematography • Lighting 

• Sound • Editing • Producing • Animation 

• Special Effects 

Screenwriting 

• Writing the Feature Film • Scriptwriting 

• Script Analysis 



NYU: 



Free NYU Summer Bulletin: 
1-800-771-4NYU, ext. 832 
^UmiTlCr http://www.nyu.edu/summer/ 






New York University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. 



offline/online. TC support, real-time f/x. Direct inter- 
net link. $40/hr, $55/hr w/ed. Discount daily/wkly 
rates. (518) 276-8276; Info(5 focusweb.com 

ESCAPE TO THE MOUNTAINS. Finish your pro- 
ject in relaxed, creative environment. Rates guaran- 
teed to fit your budget. Media 100 online and SVHS 
offline suites. Award-winning editors available. Call 
Ironwood in Asheville, NC (704) 252-2677. 

INTERFORMAT OFFLINE SUITE (3/4", Hi8, 
VHS). Sony system in clean, spacious uptown loca- 
tion. VO9850/9800 w/ RM450, 2 13" monitors, Hi8 
& VHS. Rates: $12/hr, $85/day, $380/wk. Editor 
$15/hr. Dubs in 3/4", VHS, Hi8. (212) 316-3842. 

KLEITMAN FILMWORKS NYC A space for video 
and film artists. Nonlinear video editing at $20/hr. All 
formats. 1-on-l instruction avail. 3D/2D animation, 
image manipulation. Call us at (212) 967-2641. 

MEDIA 100 EDITING w/ 27 gig HD @ $200/day. 
Adobe AfterEffects &. Deckll Audio software. Source 
from Beta, Hi8 & VHS, Audio from DAT, CD &. cas- 
sette deck. Professional building on Bleecker & 
Broadway. Call Jay (212) 598-3035. 

MEDIA 100 top-of-the-line equpment, nonlinear 
online editing suite at affordable rates, convenient 
21st &. 5 th location, NTSC/PAL Beta-SP, 300kb res- 
olution, 54 gigs, automatic back-up, AfterEffects, edi- 
tors avail. Call (212) 253-9472. 

MUSIC FOR FILM that knocks your sox off. Over 
1 5 indie/corporate videos. Fast, friendly, professional, 
creative, cool. State-of-the-art studio, 28 yrs experi- 
ence. Taughd Anderson (800) 925-4762 or (801) 
467-4379 for demo. 

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACKS by the Dramatic 
Sound Gallery. From concept to completion, we work 
w/ you to enhance your vision. Find out what the 
right music can do for your film. Reasonable rates, 
references, demo on request. (516) 486-3588. 

POSTERS Glossy or Matte, all selections to color. 25 
1/4" x 37" , 90grm paper. Everything possible, from 
your design or instructions. $560 1st 1000, $360 ea. 
add. 1000 from same design. Call 01 1-525-530-0421, 
Independent Posters, Xochicalco #167, Apt #8, C.R 
03020, Col. Narvarte, Mexico, D.F. 

Preproduction • Development 

FORTRESS FILMS seeks feature scripts for its sec- 
ond production. Low/med. budgets only. Romantic 
comedy, suspense thriller, drama, children's adven- 
ture. Send script/treatment w/ SASE to: 580 
Broadway, Suite 1104, NYC 10012. 

LOOKING TO OPTION SCREENPLAY to be 

produced &. directed \\7 European money on a low 
budget in 6k around NYC. Please send screenplays to: 
Streiffschuss Film & Video AG, 124 E. Broadway, 
NYC, 10002. (212) 349-8747. 

Web Sites 

ATTENTION FILMMAKERS Present yourself, 
your project, or your production company on the 
WWW. Quality web page design at affordable prices. 
http://www.logtv.com; grunberg@logtv.com; (800) 
274-4771. 



58 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



notices of relevance to aivf members are 
listed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and can make no guarantees about 
the number of placements for a given notice, 
limit submissions to 60 words and indicate 
how long info will be current. deadline: 1st 
of the month, two months prior to cover 
date (e.g., jan. 1 for mar. issue). complete 
contact info (name, mailing address & tele- 
phone numbers) must accompany all notices, 
send to: independent notices, fivf, 304 
hudson st., 6th fl, ny, ny 10013. we try to be as 
current as possible w/ information but 
please double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

BEIGEL SCREENPLAY AWARD $5000 cash 
prize offered in conjunction w/ From Script To 
Screen, 3-day screenplay development conference 
of Independent Feature Project & Writers Guild of 
America, East. Feature-length scripts accepted 
through March 21st. For info and fees contact 
Karen Schwartzman (212) 465-8244 x801; fax 
465-8525. 

SEEKING CD-ROMS Curators for '97New York 
Video Festival seek CD-ROMS for inclusion in two 
different programs: "Speed Kills" & "No Place Like 
Home". Works completed between 1995 & 1997 
eligible. Deadline: May 1, 1997. Contact curators 
for more info. U.S. contact: Eric Saks, hat@earth- 
link.net; Europe: John Carella, nyff@dds.nl 

WRITERS WORKSHOP NATIONAL 
SCRIPTWRITING CONTEST accepting 
scripts. 5 to 6 winners will be chosen to receive 
$500 award. Winners also receive free tuition for 
critical evaluation of scripts before panel of motion 
picture agents, producers, writers & directors. 
Deadline: Ongoing. For submission info, send legal 
size SASE w/ 600 postage to: Willard Rogers, 
Writers Workshop Nat'l Contest, Box 69799, LA., 
CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 

Conferences • Workshops 

CINEMA AFRICAIN ET LANGUE FRAN- 
CAISE Improve your French while attending 
Montreal's Vues d' Afrique. Unique immersion pro- 
gram integrates festival screenings of African/ 
Caribbean/ Asian film & video, discussions w/ film- 
makers, French classes, group immersion in fran- 
cophone Montreal. April 19-27. 3 & 9 day all 
inclusive packages begin at $360. Ben Levine, 
(207) 872-0310; blevine@mint.net 



Films • Tapes Wanted 

IND. FILM & VIDEO SHOWCASE a weekly 

TV series & live monthly screening, looking for 
student & ind. films/video to give artists exposure. 
Submit on 1/2" or 3/4" video w/ paragraph about 
artist and work. Send to: IFVS, 6755 Yucca St. #8, 
Hollywood, CA 90028, Attn: Jerry Salata; jsala- 



ta@Freemark. com 

NEW BREED FESTIVAL seeks student/ind. 
shorts-narrative only-for bi-monthly cafe screenings 
in Lambertville, NJ & on NJ & PA public access. 
Send 1/2" VHS + info w/ SASE to New Breed, 217 
N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ 08530. 

ASHLAND CABLE ACCESS seeks video shows. 
VHS, S-VHS & 3/4" OK, any length or genre. For 
return, incl. sufficient SASE. Send w/ description & 
release to: Suzi Aufderheide, Southern Oregon State 
College, RVTV, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 
97520; (541) 552-6898. 

AUSTIN, TX ind. producer offering cable access 
venue to showcase ind. films & videos, all genres & 
subjects. Shorts & music videos linked by discussions 
on ind. films. Films/videos running longer than 40 
min. may be aired in series of 2 consecutive shows. 
Send release 6k info about film/filmmaker. 1/4" 6k 3/4" 
preferable. No payment, but credit & exposure. James 
Shelton, Tex-Cinema Productions, Box 3633, Austin, 
TX 78764-3633; (512) 867-9901. 

AXLEGREASE Buffalo cable access program of ind. 
film & video, accepting all genres under 28 min., 
1/2", 3/4", 8mm, Hi8. Send labeled w/ name, address, 
title, length, additional info & SASE for tape return 
to: Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 
14201; (716) 884-7172, wheel@freenet.buffalo.edu; 
http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~wheel 

BLACK BOOT MEDIA PROJECT of Perry 

County Ind. Media Arts Center seeks ind. film 6k 
video works for regular series of roving screenings at 
various industrial, commerical 6k residential venues 
in Philadelphia 6k Harrisburg area. Submit S-8, 
16mm, VHS or S-VHS w/ SASE to: PCIMAC, Lower 
Bailey Rd., RR2-Box 65, Newport, PA 17074. For 
info contact: Jeff Dardozzi (215) 545-7884. 

BURLE AVANT curating "530 Lines of 
Resolution," digital video art night at Den of Thieves 
on Lower East Side in NYC. Video artists encouraged 
to submit works; no entry fees required. Send NTSC 
VHS tapes under 15 min. by UPS or hand deliver to: 
530 Lines of Resolution, c/o The Outpost, 118 North 
11 St., 4th fl, Brooklyn, NY 11211; (718) 599-2385. 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS travelling exhibition 
and illustrated critical anthology about racial and 
sexual indeterminacy, fall 1999. Send slides, 
abstracts, resume or cv and SASE to Erin Valentino, 
Dept. of Art and Art History, University of 
Connecticut, 875 Coventry Road U-99, Storrs, CT 
06269; (860) 486-3930; fax 486-3869; evalenti- 
no@finearts.sfa.uconn.edu 

DANCE ON VIDEO wanted for Spirit of Dance, live 
1-hr monthly program covering all types 6k aspects of 
dance. Under 5 min. or excerpts from longer works. 
S-VHS preferred. Call producers at (508) 430-1321, 
759-7005; fax: 398-4520. Contact: Ken Glazebrook, 
656 Depot St., Harwich, MA 02645. 

DUTV-CABLE 54 progressive, nonprofit access 
channel in Philadelphia, seeks works by ind. produc- 
ers. All genres 6k lengths considered. No payment; 
will return tapes. VHS, S-VHS 6k 3/4" accepted. 
Contact: George McCollough or Maria Mongelli, 
DUTV-Cable 54, Drexel University, 33rd 6k Chesnut 
Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895-2927. 




FILMMAKERS UNITED nonprofit org., presents 
monthly film series at Silent Movie Theatre in Los 
Angeles. Year-round venue for ind. short films. To 
submit a film (must have 16mm or 35mm print for 
screening 6k be no longer than 40 min.,) send a 1/2" 
video copy w/ SASE to: Filmmakers United, 1260 N. 
Alexandria Ave., LA, CA 90029; (213) 427-8016. 

GAY MEN'S HEALTH CRISIS seeks short videos 
(10 min or less) for Living with AIDS , half-hr maga- 
zine weekly seen in Manhattan, Queens 6k Brooklyn, 
produced by GMHC 6k NYC Dept. of Health. No 
budget for licensing programs, but opportunity to be 
seen by millions. VHS or 3/4" tapes (no originals) 
must deal w/ HIV/AIDS issues, or present person (s) 
infected/affected by HIV/AIDS in positive way. May 
not be sexually explicit. All tapes returned. Send to: 
Kristen Thomas, Living with AIDS Showcase of 
Independent Video, GMHC Multimedia Dept., 129 
W 20th St., NY, NY 10011; (212) 337-3655. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA seeks videos 
of any length about people with disabilities. Programs 
will air on Atlanta's Cable 12. No fees, however cred- 
it 6kexposure to large viewing audience. VHS pre- 
ferred, S-VHS, 3/4" acceptable. Sharon Douglas, 
Handi-Capable in the Media, Inc. 2625 Piedmont 
Rd. Suite 56-137 Atlanta, GA 30324. 

IN SHORT, 1/2-hr program that airs bi-monthly, 
seeks submissions for public access show in NY. 
Preference given to works created w/ digital video. 
On every 4th program, work produced by or featuring 
women highlighted. Works up to 28 min., submitted 
on VHS for preview, available in 3/4". Send to: In 
Short, 240 East 27th St., Suite 17N, NY, NY 10016; 
(212) 689-0505. 

IN THE MIX nat'l PBS series, seeks short (2-8 min.) 
videos produced by teens or young adults. Any for- 
mat. Send w/ description, name 6k phone # to: In the 
Mix, 102 E. 30th St., NY, NY 10016. 

INDEPENDENT EXPOSURE monthly screening 
program seeks experimental, avant-garde, doc, narra- 
tive. Possible monetary renumeration. Submit your 
films and/or videos on 1/2" or 8mm video. Clearly 
label tapes with title, length, name, address 6k phone. 
Include SASE if you wish tapes returned. Contact: 
Blackchair Prod., 2318 Second Ave., #3 13 A Seattle, 
WA 98121; (206) 282-3592; joeI@speakeasy.org 

KNITTING FACTORY VIDEO LOUNGE seeks 
VHS tapes for on-going weekly series of theme -based 
screenings. Any genre or subject. Send tape w/ brief 
bio to: Joanna Spitzner, Box 1220 Canal St. Station, 
NY, NY 10012. If tape return desired, include self- 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 59 



NEW DAY FILMS is the premiere distrib- 
ution cooperative for social issue media. 
Owned and run by it's members, New 
Day Films has successfully distributed 
documentary film and video for twenty- 
five years. 

Call 914.485.8489 



http://www.newday.com 



Seeking energetic 
independent makers 
of social issue 



DOCUMENTARIES FOR 
NEW MEMBERSHIP. 



In the heart of Texas you'll find 
the heart of the movie industry* 



Call for a free brochure, price list and screen credits. 214/869-0100 




When you finish 

shooting for the 

that little tin can contains 

more than film. ..it contains 

your heart and soul. At Allied Digital 

Technologies we understand that. Which is 

why since 1 982 hundreds of feature films, 

commercials and music videos have been trusted to 

Allied for processing. In fact, we're one of the few labs 

in the country to consistently receive an excellent 

quality rating from Eastman Kodak. To maintain our 

standard of excellence we continue to stay on the 

cutting edge of today's technology. 



fcfcA 




We provide the best in 
video and audio duplication, 
CD& CD-ROM replication, 
—fulfillment and distribution 
^V» services... all under one^ roof. Providing you with 
an original image of unsurpassed quality is our main 
goal. Whether it's for a feature, commercial, CD- 
ROM, DVD or HDTV project, Allied has the people 
and experience to meet your demanding standards. 
So wherever you're shooting today, remember 
we're only a short flight away in the heart of Texas. 



• All This and More Under One Roof • Package Pricing Available • 16mm/Super 16mm/35mm Camera 
Original Overnight Processing & Dailies • 16mm/35mm Mixing Facilities • Complete with Video SSL Screen Sound. 

Foley, Editing • Rank Transfer Service- to D-2, Digital Betacam, 1" Type C, Betacam, Betacam SP, 3/4", S-VHS 

with Nagra-T Sync Capabilities. 3/4" SP, 1/2" VHS, or Beta (Including Interlock Transfer) 

• Video Dailies from 35mm, 16mm, and Super 16mm, with KEYKODE TLC Edit Controller, Flex File & Key Log 

EASY ACCESS- Over 3000 flights in & out of Dallas daily 

MIICD 

!! ! ' E-Mail at Txtbifa@allied.mhs.compuserve.com or 

6305 N. O'Connor Rd. Suite 111, Irving, TX 75039-351 Fax(21 4) 869-21 1 7 



'ff * 



R^U^I • D 

• Post Production 

• Avid On-line 

• Multimedia Authoring 

I • 14 Years Broadcast Experience 
I • Avid Training 



uaT 



M ED I A. I NC. 



212.685.3787 

166 East 35th St. NY, NY 10016 



addressed envelope w/ sufficient postage. 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TV seeks story pro- 
posals from U.S. citizen or permanent resident minor- 
ity filmmakers for National Geographic Explorer, 
award-winning doc series. To request appl. for CDP 
(Cultural Diversity Project), call: (202) 862-8637. 

NORTH CAROLINA VISIONS series broadcast- 
ing selected works statewide on public TV, seeks 
works of any genre (except corporate/instructional) 
produced by ind. artists currently residing in NC. 
Modest monetary compensation &. telecast filmmak- 
er interview of artist for works selected. Entry fee: 
$15 for individuals, $5 for students &.NC Media Arts 
Alliance members; separate fee for each submission. 
Contact: Ellen Walters, NC Visions, Broadcasting/ 
Cinema Program, 100 Carmichael Bldg., UNCG, 
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001; (910) 334-5360; fax: 
334-5039; ncvision(5 hamlet.uncg.edu 

OCULARIS New screening room seeks 16mm shorts 
for regular screenings in East Village/ Williamsburg 
area of NYC, particularly by local filmmakers. Please 
call or send SASE for info: Ocularis, 91 N. 4th St., 
#3R, Brooklyn, NY 11211; (718) 388-8713. 

REAL TV looking for dynamic videos: news, weath- 
er, sports, bloopers, busts, "caught in the act." Real 
TV, syndicated, daily video magazine, will showcase 
compelling videos from around the world — from pro- 

| fessionals as well as amateurs who capture video 
snapshots of life in the 90s. Tapes will not be 

I returned. Contact: Real TV, Hollywood Center 
Studios, Stage 2, 1040 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles, 
CA 90038; (213) 860-0100. 

TIGRESS PRODUCTIONS seeking 8mm or S-8 
footage of 42nd St.ATimes Square area from 1960s & 
70s for doc. All film returned, some paid, film credit. 
Contact: June Lang (212) 977-2634. 

TV-1 PRODUCTIONS seeking footage on Cuba for 
upcoming doc. Every aspect of life in the island wel- 
come. Formats: Hi8, SVHS, 3/4", Beta, DVD, 8mm 
&. 16mm. Tapes returned. Payment negotiable. For 
more info, contact: Marcos N. Suarez, 2102 Empire 
Central, Dallas, TX 75235; (214) 357-2186. 

UNQUOTE TV 1/2 hr nonprofit program dedicated 
to exposing new, innovative film & video artists, 
seeks ind. doc, narrative, experimental, performance 
works under 28 min. Seen on over 40 cable systems 
nationwide. No payment. Submit to: Unquote TV. 
c/o DUTY 33rd & Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, PA 
19104; (215) 895-2927. 

VIDEOSPACE AT DECORDOVA MEDIA 
ARTS ARCHIVE DeCordova Museum & Sculpture 
Park seeks VHS copies of video art &. documentation 
of performance, installation art 6k new genres from 
New England artists for inclusion in new media arts 
archive. Send for info & guidelines: Videospace at 
DeCordova, DeCordova Museum, 51 Sandy Pond 
Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773-2600. 

Publications 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: Have 
you produced film, video or video disc on visual arts? 
Send info on prod, to Program for Art on Film 
Database, computer index to over 19,000 prods. 



60 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



Interested in prods on all visual arts topics. Welcome 
info on prods about artists of color & multicultural 
art projects. Info: (718) 399-4206; 399-4207 fax. 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMER- 
ICAN FILM & VIDEO organized by Int'l Media 
Resources Exchange seeks works by Latin American 
& US Latino ind. producers. To send work or for info: 
Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 124 Washington Place, NY, 
NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

MEDIA MATTERS Media Alliance's newsletter, 
provides comprehensive listings of New York area 
events &. opportunities for media artists. For a free 
copy, call Media Alliance at (212) 560-2919 or visit 
web site at http://www.mediaalliance.org. 

MEDIANET Guide to the Internet for Video and 
Filmmakers. Available free at http://www.infi.net/ 
—rriddle/medianet.htm, or e-mail rriddle@infi.net 

NEH ANNUAL REPORT AVAILABLE National 
Endowment for the Humanities' 30th Annual Report 
is available for free. Contains descriptions of pro- 
grams as well as a complete listing of all Endowment 
grants for FY 1995. Readers may view or download 
report by visiting NEH website: http: //www 
.neh.fed.us For a hard copy, write or email: NEH 
1995 Annual Report, Room 402, 1100 Pennsylvania 
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20506; email: 
info@neh. fed. us 

Resources • Funds 

BOSTON FILM/VTDEO FOUNDATION seeks 
proposals for fiscal sponsorship from ind. producers. 
No deadline or genre restrictions. Reviewed on 
ongoing basis. Contact BFVF for brochure: Cherie 
Martin, 1126 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215; (617) 
536-1540; fax: 536-3576; bfvf@aol.com 

CREATIVE PROJECT GRANTS Subsidized use of 
VHS, interformat & 3/4" editing suite for ind. cre- 
ative projects. Doc, political, propaganda, promotion- 
al & commercial projects are not eligible. 
Editor/instructor avail. Video work may be done in 
combination w/ S-8, Hi8, audio, performance, pho- 
tography, artists, books, etc. Studio includes Amiga, 
special effects, A&B roll, transfers, dubbing, etc. 
Send SASE for guidelines to: The Media Loft, 727 
6th Ave., NY NY 10010; (212) 924-4893. 

FUND FOR JEWISH DOCUMENTARY FILM- 
MAKING offers grants ($5,000 - $50,000) for pro- 
duction/completion of original films & videos that 
interpret Jewish history, culture & identity to diverse 
public audiences. Priority given to works-in-progress 
that address critical issues, combine artistry & intel- 
lectual clarity, can be completed w/i 1 yr of award &. 
have broadcast potential. Deadline: April 1. For 
guidelines & appl: Nat'l Foundation for Jewish 
Culture, 330 Seventh Ave., 21 fl., NY, NY 10001; 
(212) 629-0500, x. 205. 

ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL (IAC) SPECIAL 
ASSISTANCE ARTS PROGRAM Matching 
grants of up to $1,500 avail, to IL artists for specific 
projects. Activities that may be funded: registration 
fees & travel to attend conferences, seminars, or 
workshops; consultant fees for resolution of specific 
artistic problems; exhibits, performances, publica- 
tions, screenings; materials, supplies, or services. 



I 



1 




I 



FIREHOUSE STUDIOS, INC. 

All Your Audio Needs For Video & Film Post! 

Digital lock to Betacam SP and 3/4" 
Protools m, ADAT, Timecode DAT + MIDI 



ADR & voiceover to picture 

Live recording & MIDI to picture 

Sound design, editing, SFX & mixing 

Original music & scoring, Library music selection. 

1 50 W28th St Suite 302 21 2-645-0666 



Revolutionary 




THE 



withDovS-SSimens 



If pu haven't 

Produced , directed or 

distributed an 

independent feature 

film... 

...You haven't taken 

this course. 

...Spike & Quentin did! 



LOS ANGELES 

Mar 1546 or May 3-4 

PHOENIX: Mar 22-23 

NEW YORK: Apr 5-6 

CLEVELAND: Apr 19-20 

DENVER: May 10-11 

ATLANTA: May 17-18 



Can't Attend? Can't Wait? 
Audio Film School™ Available 



$2% 



CYBERSPACE FILM SCHOOL™ 
http://HollywoodU.com 



HFI.P0 Box 481252, LA, CA 90048 



HOLLYWOOD 




800-366-3456 



WS3 

INSTITUTE 



A non-profit media arts organi- 
zation providing access to state- 
of-the-art video post-production 
services for artists and indepen- 
dent producers at drastically 
discounted rates. .-, • ; -.' 

Standby also publishes FELIX, 
A Journal of Media Arts and 
Communication. 



• Betacam, 1 " or D-2 On-line editing 

• Non-linear editing 

• Audio post-production 

• Mass duplication 

• Standards conversions 

• CDR Burns 

Contact us tor other services, 
prices and membership information. 



PO Box 184, New York, NY 10012 
http://www.felixweb.org 
Email: standby@felix.org ~~ 
Phone: (212)219-0951 
Fax: (212)219-0563 



William Hohauser Productions 

Directing/Editing/Camera 

Oii-Liiie Non-Linear - Media lOO 

(£"^S£m£| Linear Editing Available too! 

!PTl\ ^SG^ Work done for: 

y.\~y^ Cartoon Network: 1995 Academy Award Nominated Short, 

LmmmJt *\fg?- _ «. Pay-per-View events, Warner Bros. Animation, 

^00*^\% J i"***^^— » Verve Records ' PRSA, Coopers & Lybrand, 

I \Mj* <L ' J ^s5*7" ff^Frf Madison Sc l uare Garden Network, 

yV^ "*<— 4 **VC>" *£shjl Tommy James and many others 

ESPY-TV, Inc. &> M v 611 Broadway 

Multi-Camera Shoots M # «JSf ^S^i^lS 

VHS Duplication fl\ (212)673-0899 



March 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 61 



\ortbeast Negative Matchers, Inc 

"Setting New Standards In Negative Cutting" 

Negative Cutting to Film or Video Workprint 

SPECIALIZING IN VIDEO MATCHBACK TO THE AVID FILM COMPOSER 

□ 35mm □ Super 16mm □16mm 



25 Riverview Terrace • Springfield, MA 01 108 • 4 1 3/736-2 1 77 • 800/370-CUTS 
North Miami Office 305/940-8878 



_«__ — 



Broadcast Hi-8 
Beta Sp 

$2204400. 

COMPLETE ENG PRODUCTION PACKAGES INCLUDE: 

Camera in a backpack • tripod 

field monitor • power supply 

batteries • light kit 

lavalier & shotgun • all the cables 

Hi-8 fo VHS window dubs too! 

"We understand independents because 
we are independents!" 



Bless Bless Productions 

212.242.3009 

e-mail: blessbless@aol.com 




Video Viewing 

1/2 & 3/4 Video Editing 

Video Cassette Duplication 

Film to Tape Transfers 

Slides to Tape Transfers 

16mm Projector Rental 

S-8 Processing 



Machine Cleaned, Optically Tested. & 

GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 

3/4* Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



RAFIK 



I STOCK. VIDEO TAre. AUDIO TAPE. LEADER & Sll 



I, (II MEDIA 

Jt EL r?rr7 



Armadillo 
Studios 



Macintosh based 
non-linear editor 
Prices start 
at $500/wk. 



Beta SP deck, 18 gig hardritfe, DAT storage backup, 
Hustrator/ After Effects 



292 5th Ave, S0NY BETACAM sp a/b Roll & $trai6«t cuts 

Oit}iJiA*iRGit% ^/V^ 8 * Toaster!* Ami tint Edit Controller 
fi*™*3SSU Mces start at $4G/hr 



Funds awarded based on quality of work submitted & 
impact of proposed project on artist's professional 
development. Appls must be received at least 8 wks 
prior to project starting date. Degree students not eli- 
gible. (312)814-6750. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE assists NYC artists & nonprofit 
organizations in using state-of-art equipment, post 
prod. & prod, facilities at reduced rates. Contact 
Media Alliance, c/o WNET, 356 W. 58th St., NY, NY 
10019; (212) 560-2919. 

PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICATIONS 

provides grants for development of nat'l public TV 
broadcast programming by 6k about indigenous Pacific 
Islanders. Appls available from: PIC, 1221 Kapiolani 
Blvd., #6A-4, Honolulu, HI 96814; (808) 591-0059; 
fax: 591-1114; piccom(5 elele.peacesat.hawaii.edu 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable merit & 
financial need working as mixed-media or installation 
artists. Grants awarded throughout yr: $1,000- 
$30,000. For guidelines, write: Pollock-Krasner 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

I SOROS DOCUMENTARY FUND supports ind. 
doc. film & video on human rights, freedom of expres- 
sion, social justice & civil liberties. 2 levels consid- 
ered: works-in-progress & preproduction seed money. 
Grant awards for recommended works-in-progress 
range up to $50,000, w/ average of $25,000. Awards 
for seed funds range from $10,000 to $15,000. Send 
proposals to: Diane Weyermann, Director of Arts and 
Cultural Regional Program, Open Society Institute, 
888 7th Ave., #3100, NY, NY 10106. 

SPONSORING SHORT FILMS Caipirinha 

Productions is sponsoring short film projects w/ 16mm 
raw stock. Please submit your short film 
scripts/ideas/synopsis for consideration asap. Variety of 
stock available. Caipirinha Prod., 1120 5th Ave 
I #15A, NYC, NY 10128; fax (212) 987-8940; caipir- 
inha(S caipirinha.com 

STANDBY PROGRAM provides artists 6k nonprof- 
its access to broadcast quality video postprod. services 
at reduced rates. For guidelines 6k appl. contact: 
Standby Program, Box 184, NY, NY 10012-0004; 
(212) 219-0951; fax: 219-0563. 

TEACHERS MEDIA CENTER dedicated to educa- 
tors interested in video technology as learning tool in 
the classroom. Latest project is setting up nat'l 6k int'l 
video pen pal exchanges; also interested in creating 
nat'l network of educators interested in any or all 
aspects of growing multimedia 6k media literacy move- 
ments in education. Contact: Teachers Media Center, 
158 Beach 122nd St., Rockaway Beach, NY 11694; 
(718)634-3823. 

VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP MEDIA CEN- 
TER in Rochester, NY, accepts proposals on ongoing 
basis for its Media Access program. Artists, ind. pro- 
ducers 6k nonprofits awarded access at reduced rates, 
prod. 6k postprod. equipment for work on noncom- 
mercial projects. For appl., tour, or more info, call 
(716) 442-8676. 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS offer 
seminars on "Copyright Basics," "Not-for-profit 
Incorporation and Tax Exemption," 6k more. 
Reservations must be made: (212) 319-2910. 



62 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 



State of the Arts 






B^P 












1 





NYSCA 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film, the educational affiliate of the Association of 
Independent Video and Filmmakers, supports a variety of programs and services for the inde- 
pendent media community, including publication of The independent, workshops, and an infor- 
mation clearinghouse. None of this work would be possible without the generous support of the 
AIVF membership and the following organizations: 



Center for Arts Criticism, Heathcote Art Foundation, Albert A list Foundation, John D. and Catherine T MacArthur 
Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Community 
Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, and Andy "warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 

We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Benefactors: Patrons: Sponsors: 

Irwin W Young Pamela Calvert, Mary D. Dorman, Ralph Arlyck, C & S, Inc., Loni Ding; 

Karen Freedman, Forest Creatures David W Haas, Dr. V Humagel/Woman's Cable Network, 
Entertainment®; Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Jim McKay, Leonard Merrill Kurz Co., Robb Moss; 
Robert L Seigel, Esq., James Schamus, Jodi Piekoff, Julio Riberio, J. B. Sass/Letting Go Foundation, 
Roger E. Weisberg George C. Stoney, Debra Zimmerman 

Business/Industry Members: 

. A-Pix Entertainment, NYC; Alluvial Entertainment, W Hollywood, CA; Aries Prod., Arlington, TX; Asset Pictures, 
NYC; Berkano Prod., New Orleans, LA; Bjorqvist Films, Brooklyn, NY; Blackside Inc, Boston, MA; Bread & Roses, NYC; 
CA. Prod., NYC; Caribbean Soul Entertainment, B'klyn, NY; Chibari Records, NYC; Color Lib, Rockville, MD; Cospe 
Prod., Paris, FR DNR Research, Washinton, DC; Ericson Media Inc., NYC; Fotokem, Burbank, CA; Foxo Prod., NYC; 
FPG Intl, NYC; Henninger Media Services, Arlington, VA; IBW Prod., London, UK; Jaguar Prod., NYC; KJM3 
Entertainment Group, NYC; Knight Prod., Madison, WI; light Hash Pictures, NYC;Lone Oak Prod., NYC; Lyrick Studios, 
Richardson, TX; Joseph McCarthy, B'klyn, NY; Meritage Prod., W Chester, PA; Mikco, NYC; Music Central, NYC; 
Nocturnal Films, NYC; Open City Films, NYC; Red Rabbit Entertainment, Brookline, MA; Somford Entertainment, LA, 
CA; Jill Spettigue, Ontario, CN; Sub Pop East, Dorchester, MA; Tribeca Film Center NYC; Triune Pictures, NYC; Thunder 
Head Prod., Palm Beach, FL; White Night Prod., San Diego, CA. 

Nonprofit Members 

Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts &. Sciences, Beverly Hills, CA; Access, Houston, TX; Aces Media Arts Center, 
New Haven, CT; Alfred Univ., Alfred, NY; Alternate Current, Inc., NYC; Am. Fed. of Arts, NYC; Am. Film Inst., LA, CA; 
Amherst College, Amherst, MA; Ann Arbor Gmimuniry Access TV Ann Arbor, MI; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann 
Arbor, MI; Appalshop, Whitesburg, KY; John Armstrong, B'klyn, NY; Art Ctr. College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Art Inst, 
of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Art Matters Inc, NY, NY; Athens Center for Film & Video, Athens, OH; Carol Auld, 
Toronto, Ontario; Austin Film Society, Austin, TX; AVARKKL Helsinki, Finland; BANFF Ctr. Lib., Banff Alberta; 
Bennington College Lib., Bennington, VT Benton Fdn., Washington, EC; Blackside, Inc. Boston, MA; Bozell Sawyer 
Miller Grp., NYC; British Film Inst., London, UK; Broward Co. Lib., Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Carved Image Prod., NYC; Ctr. 
for New Am. Media, NYC; Chicago Public Lib., Chicago, IL; Chongju Central Lib., Chongju-Shi, China; Cinematheque 
Quebecoise, Montreal, Quebec; Citurna Ltda Film & Video Prod., Bogota, Columbia; Command Communications, Rye 
Brook, NY; Communication Arts-MHCC, Greshamy, OR; Communications Soc, Poughkeepsie, NY; Comm. Media 
Project, Milwaukee, WI; Comm. Television Network, Chicago, IL; Copiague Mem. Lib., Copiague, NY; Cornell Cinema, 
Ithaca, NY; Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bfoorr^H Hills, MF Dallas Pub. Lib. Dallas, TX; Denver Film Society, Denver, 
CO; Paul L Dunbar Lib., Dayton, QBffi&VEg| SBrazil, Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Educational Video Ctr., NYC; Edwards 
Films, Eagle Bridge, NY; Empowerment Proj./Kasper & Trent, Chapel Hill, NC; Fox Chapel High School, Pittsburgh, PA; 
George Eastman House Lib., Rochester, NY; Great Lakes Film &. Video, Milwaukee, WI; Henry Art Gallery, Seatle, WA; 
Hogskulen I Volda, Norway; Hong Kong Arts Ctr., Hong Kong, China; Image Film Video Ctr, Atlanta, GA; Imagination 
Nexus Ltd., Chasapeake, VA; ht'l^BrraPpPBBBBm Seminars, NYC; Internews Network, Areata, CA; LTVS, 
St. Paul, MN; Jewish Film Fest., I MteteC A; Keene St. College, Keene, NH; King Co. Lib., Seattle, WA; Kroma Prod. 
OY, Porvoo; KPBS, San Diego, CA; Long Bow Group Inc., Brookline, MA; Manhattan Neighborhood Network, NYC; 
Maurits Binger Film last., NL; Media Network, NYC; Media Resource Ctr, Adelaide, AUS; Mid Hudson Lib. 
Poughkeepsie, NY; Milwaukee Pub. Lib.,Tvflrfeukee, WI;||iineapolis Pub. Lib., Minneapolis, MN; Miranda Smith Prod., 
Boulder CO; Missoula Comm. <jk£m> Mssoula MT; Mol||\, NYC; Montclair St., Montclair, NJ; Museu Lasar Segall, Sao 
Paulo, Brazil; Museum School Lib., Boston, MA; Nat Film Archive of India, Poona, India; Nat. Film Board of Canada, 

ToTdC; Nat Latino Comm. Ctr/KCET LA, CA; Nat. Lib. of 
ot Singapore, Singapore; Neighborhood Film/Video Proj., Philadelphia, PA; New Image 

d elphia, PA; 91 1 Media Arts Ctr, Seattle, WA; Northern Lights Int. Film 
i*CCHR, NYC; Ontario Arts Council, Toronto, Ontario; Open 
Society Inst., NYC; Outside in July, NYC; Pac. Film Archives, Berkeley,, CA; Performing Arts Academy, Birmingham, AL; 
Pikes Peak Lib., Colorado Springs , CO; Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; Port Washington Pub. Lib., Port Washington, 
NY; Post Modem Prod., Inc. JBRf IL; EjwmStates Film Fest., Seattle, WA; Paul Robeson Fund/Funding Exchange, NYC; 
Ross Film Theater, Lincoln, NE; Ross-Gafhey, NYC; San Francisco Museum of Modem Art, San Francisco, CA; San 
Francisco Pub. Lib., San Francisco, CA; Santa. Fe Film Festival, Santa Fe, NM; Scribe Video Ctr., Philadelphia, PA; Sierra 
Club Film Festival, NYC; Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY; Strato Films, Hollywood, CA; SWAMR Houston, SWETS 
Subscription SErvice., Exton, PA; Third World Newsreel, NYC; Toronto Int'l Film Fest., Toronto, Ontario; Tucson Comm. 
Cable Corp., Tucson, AZ; VLE^^wfeo, NYC; V|jo Data Bank, Chicago, IL; Video Pool, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Video 
Video Ltd., NYC; W Hollywood Pub. Access, W Hollywood, CA; Wexner Ctr, Columbus, OH; WNET NYC; Women 
in the Director's Chair, Chicago, IL; Women Make Movies, NYC; Worldfest, Houston, TX; WTIW Chicago, IL. 



Montreal, Quebec; Nat. Geo| 
Singapore, Singapore; Nat. Ui 
Prod., Las Vegas, NV; New Li 
Fest., Anchorage, AK; Evansi 





I"™" 1 ™^™1 




Is p i nj 

cfjy c 1 e 


IP os II 


1 


We're a Full-Service Post- 
Production facility for the 
alternative filmmaker. We have 
an ADR/Foley Studio, AVIDs, 
AudioVisions, ProTools, and a 

high-speed, 8-plate, 
supercharged steenbeck. We 

provide creative editors, 
experienced technical support 
and expert post supervision at 

competitive rates. For more 

information, contact Jeanette 

King at (212) 679-2720. Or Fax at 

(212 679-2730. 

SPIN CYCLE POST, INC. 
■ 12 West 27th St., 6th Floor ■ 
I New York, NY 10001 j 


1 


L^H MhJ 



JOIN AIVF 



Resources, strong connections, and the best 
information available. Join with more than 
5,000 other independent producers who con- 
sider AIVF vital to their professional lives. 



THE INDEPENDENT FILM 
AND VIDEO MONTHLY 



BOOKS 



WORKSHOPS, PANELS, 
AND SEMINARS 



ADVOCACY-INSURANCE 



TRADE DISCOUNTS 



CONFERENCE/ 
SCREENING ROOM 



Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers 

304 Hudson Street, 6th Floor, NY, NY 10013 

(212) 807-1400 tel; (212) 463-8519 fax 

http://www.aivf.org 



March 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 63 




LDS 



STAFF 

Many thanks to Oscar Cervera who served as 
our Membership Associate over the past year. 
Oscar spent many hours redesigning our data- 
base and logging in all of those new and renew- 
ing members. He's moved to Chicago where 
word has it he's going to start a Chicago AIVF 
Salon, among other things. We'll miss you! 

On that note we welcome Brent Renaud to the 
AIVF staff as our new Membership Associate. 
In addition the AIVF/FIVF board members 
would like to welcome student representatives, 
Laala Matias and Todd Cohen to the FIVF board. 
Both are undergraduates at NYU and will serve 
a one year term. 

SPRING EVENTS 

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING 

The AIVF annual membership meeting will be 
held Friday evening, April 18, at Anthology Film 
Archives, 32 Second Ave., NYC. The meeting is 
open to all; AIVF members will receive a sepa- 
rate notice in the mail 

MEET AND GREETS 

These are opportunities for members to meet 
producers, distributors, funders, programmers, 
and others to exchange information in an infor- 
mal atmosphere at the AIVF office. Free; open to 
AIVF members only. Limited to 20 participants. 
RSVP required: (212) 807-1400 x301. Please 
leave name, phone number, and event for which 
you are making a reservation. 

Sande Zeig 

President, Artistic License Films 
Artistic License Films provides independent 
companies with individualized services to ensure 
the successful theatrical release of a film. 
Tuesday, March 18, 6:30 pm 

Robert Seigel 

Attorney at Law, Cinema Film Considting 
Cinema Film Consulting provides professional 



legal services to the media industry. Find out 
why legal counsel for independent films is 
important at all levels of production. 
Tuesday, April 8, 6:30 pm 

SEMINARS/WORKSHOPS 

Using Nonbroadcast Video in a 
Broadcast Context 

This seminar will address independent produc- 
ers' concerns of meeting television broadcast 
standards: the stringency of PBS specifications, 
inconsistencies with nonlinear edit systems, 
and equipment problems. Panelists include for- 
mer Standby Program editor Marshall Reese 
and Bill Topazio, VP of Engineering at 
Manhattan Transfer. This event is free of 
charge. For more information contact: Maria 
Venuto, (212) 219-0951. To RSVP call (212) 
807-1400x301. 
When: March 12, 7 pm 
Where: AIVF office 

Women and the Art of Multimedia 

A conference for media professionals and an 
international exhibition of multimedia work by 
and about women. WAM! will assess the posi- 
tion of independent women producers in rela- 
tion to new media, and provide women in the 
field with professional development opportuni- 
ties. AIVF members receive a $50 discount on 
registration fees. Contact: Terry Lawler at (212) 
673-5589; email: tlawler(« echonyc.com 
When: May 29 - 31 in Washington, DC 

ADVOCACY 

Get your videotape copy of the Dec. 4, 1996 
advocacy forum VWio Ou'ns The Airwaves? 
Contact LaTrice Dixon at (212) 807-1400x233. 

TRADE DISCOUNT UPDATE 

The Law Offices of Stephen Mark Goldstein 

have recently moved. Their new address and 
telephone are: 186 Riverside Drive, NYC 
10024; (212) 878-4078; fax: 579-4445. 

MONTHLY MEMBER SALONS 

This is an opportunity for members to discuss 
work, meet other independents, share war sto- 
ries, and connect with the AIVF community 
across the country. Note: Since our deadline is 
two months before the meetings listed below, 
be sure to call the local organizers to confirm 
that there have been no last-minute changes. 

Albany, NY: 

When: 1st Wednesday of each month, 6:30 pm 

Where: Borders Books & Music, Wolf Rd. 



Contact: Mike Camoin, (518) 895-5269 

Austin, TX: 

When: Last Monday of the month, 8 pm. 
Where: Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie Street 
Contact: Ben Davis, (512) 708-1962 

Boston, MA: 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Susan Walsh, (617) 965-8477 

Brooklyn, NY: 

When: 4th Tuesday each month; call for time 

Where: Ozzie's Coffeehouse, 7th Ave. 

Contact: Glenn Francis Frontera, (718) 646-7533 

Dallas, TX: 

When: 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7 pm. 

Where: Call for locations. 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 823-8909 

Denver, CO 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Diane Markrow, (303) 449-7125 

Houston, TX: 

When: Last Wednesday of each month, 7 pm. 

Where: Call for locations. 

Contact: David Mendel, (713) 529-4185 

Kansas City, MO: 

When: Second Thursday each month, 7:30 pm. 
Where: Grand Arts, 1819 Grand Blvd. 
Contact: Rossana Jeran, (816) 363-2249 

Norwalk, CT: 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Guy Perrotta, (203) 831-8205 

Sacramento, CA 

Call tor dates and locations. 

Contact: Armond Noble, (916) 457-3655 

San Diego, CA: 

Call for dates and locations. 
Contact:: Carroll Blue, (619) 594-6591 

Seattle, WA 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Joel Bachar, (206) 282-3592 

St. Louis, MO: 

When: Third Thursday of each month, 7 pm. 
Where: Midtown Arts, 3207 Washington St. 
Contact: Tom Booth, (314) 776-6270 

Tucson, AZ: 

Call tor dates and locations. 

Contact: Beverly Seckinger, (520) 621-1239 

Washington, DC: 

Call for dates and times. 

Where: Herb's Restaurant, 1615 Rhode Island 
Ave., NW; Contact: DC Salon hotline (202) 554- 
3263 x4. Discussion on Mediamakers & CD- 
ROM, presented by Margaret Buckley, Discovery 
Television. When: March 11, 7 pm at Herb's 
Restaurant. 



64 THE INDEPENDENT March 1 997 






TRADE DISCOUNTS FOR AIVF MEMBERS 



• •••••••••••••• 

THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES, 
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MEDIA 
BY PROVIDING DISCOUNTS TO 
AIVF MEMBERS: 

CALIFORNIA 

Rick Caine Productions 

856 1/2 N. Occidental Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 
90026; (213) 413-3222/ Contact: Rick Caine 
or Debbie Melnyk 

15% discount -on Sony Betacam SP equipment, 
crew rentals, duplication and offline editing. 

Mill Valley Film Group 

104 Eucalyptus Knoll, Mill Valley, CA 94941; 
(415) 461-8334/ Contact: Will Parrinello 
35% discounts on Beta SP production packages, 
production personnel & VHS off-line editing facil- 
ities. Rates further negotiable for selected projects. 

Studio Film and Tape 

6674 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 
90038; (213) 466-8101/ Contact: Carole Dean 
5% discount on Kodak short- ends & recans; 10% 
discount on new Fuji film (20% to students w/i.d.). 



COLORADO 

MovieMaker 

4730 Table Mesa Dr., Suite B-100, Boulder, 
CO 80303; (303) 499-6300 / Contact: Susan 
Lyle Kinney 

15% discount on video production services includ- 
ing shooting, editing, script consultation. 

FLORIDA 

DHA Production 

2375 No. Tamiami Trail, Naples 33940; (813) 
263-3939/ Contact: George Steinhoff 
Discounted hourly rate of $325 for edit suite, a 
Beta SP Component Digital Sony series 6000, 
including use of Abekas A- 65, Sony DME-500 
and Chyron Max. 

Film Friends 

4019 No. Meridian Ave., Miami Beach 33140; 
(305) 532-6966 or (800) 235-2713/ Contact: 
Mik Cribben 

30% discount on extensive range of equipment 
rentals - camera, lighting, sound, grip, editing. 

ILLINOIS 

Brella Productions 

1840 Oak Ave., Evanston 60201; (708) 866- 

1884/ Contact: Bernadette Burke 

35% off nonlinear editing & 3D animation work. 

EditMasters 

17 W. 755 Butterfield Rd., Oakbrook Terrace, 
IL 60181; (708) 5 15-4340/ Contact: 
Michael Sorenson 

30-50% discount on digital nonlinear post- 
production services. 



• •••••••• 



• •••••••••••••• 

NEW YORK 

BCS Broadcast Store, Inc. 

460 West 34th Street, 4th FL, NY 10001; 
(212) 2.68-8800/ Contact: Michael Rose 
10-15% discount on all used video equipment. 

Best Shot Video 

81 Pondfield Rd., Bronxville, NY 10708; (914) 
664-1943/ Contact: Adam Shanker 
1 0% discount on video editing, duplication & pro- 
duction services. 

Bill Creston 

727 Ave. of the Americas (23rd St.), NYC 
10010; (212) 924-4893/ Contact: Barbara 
Rosenthal 

5% discounts on all Super-8 film & sound pro- 
duction services, including editing, sound transfers, 
VHS to VHS dubs. Also: low-cost services on 
Amiga computer & still photography. 

Downtown Community TV Center 

87 Lafayette St., NYC 10013-4435; (212) 966- 
4510, (800) VIDEO-NY, (212) 219-0248 fax/ 
Contact: Hye Jung Park or Paul Pittman 
10-20% discount on video workshops & semi- 
nars; 10-30% discount on all editing services & 
equipment packages for nonprofit projects; Avid 
nonlinear editing, CMX editing, off-line editing, 
Beta SP & EVW300 Hi8 camera pkg rental. 

DuArt Film and Video 

245 West 55th Street, NY 10019; (212) 757- 
4580 x 637/ Contact: David Fisher 
Negotiable discounts on color negative developing, 
workprinting, blow-ups from 16mm and SI 6mm 
to 35mm, and titles 

Film Friends 

16 East 17th St., NY 10003; (212) 620-0084/ 
Contact: Mike Gallaghan 
30% discount on extensive range of equipment 
rentals - camera, lighting, sound, grip, editing. 

Media Loft 

727 Ave. of the Americas (23rd St.), NYC 
10010; (212) 924-4893/ Contact: Barbara 
Rosenthal 

5% discount on 3/4" VHS & interformat editing, 
titling, dubbing, special effects, Hi8, Amiga com- 
puter, slides & photos to tape, S-8. 

Mercer Street Sound 

133 Mercer St., NYC 10012; (212) 966-6794/ 

Contact: Bill Seery 

50% discount off corporate book rate for audio 

postproduction 

^ Metrovision Production Services 

138 East 26th Street, NYC 10010; (212) 689- 

7900/ Contact: John Brown 

Discount on video and film equipment packages 

L. Matthew Miller Associates, Ltd. 

48 West 25th Street, 11th FL, NYC 10010; 
(212) 741-8011 x 229/ Contact: Steve Cohen 
Discounted videotape and hardware. 

►••••••••••••••• 



ricture 1 his Music 

50 West 34th Street, Suite 9C9, NYC 10001; 
(212) 947-6107/ Contact: Paul D. Goldman 
10-30% off digital audio postproduction: music, 
voice-over, sound design, SFX, audio mixing 
(ProTools work stations). 

Post Digital 

236 West 27th Street, 3rd FL, NYC 10001; 
(212) 366-5353/ Contact: Michael Helman 
40% discount off nonlinear offline editing facility; 
duplication; animation production 

PrimaLux Video 

30 West 26th St., NYC 10010; (212) 206- 

1402/ Contact: Matt Clarke 

1 0% or more discounts (nonprofits encouraged) 



on services includir 



man facilities, 



remote production packages, and postproduction. 

Rafik 

814 Broadway, NYC 10003; (212) 475-7884/ 
Contact: Charles Kephart 
25% discounts on used cassettes over $100, 10% 
on single invoices over $ 1 00 for video services, 
editing, duplication, viewing, film-to-tape transfers. 

Sound Dimensions Editorial 

321 West 44th Street, #602, NYC 10036; 
(212) 757-5147/ Contact: Brian Langman 
15% discount on transfers, effects, and sound stu- 
dio services: Foley, ADR, narration, mixing. 

Star Tech 

152 West 72nd Street, #2FE, NYC 10023; 



10% off Audio Limited wireless mics & accessories. 

Studio Film and Tape 

630 9th Avenue, NYC 10036; (212) 977- 
9330/ Contact: John Troyan 
5% discount on Kodak short-ends & recans; 10% 
■ discount on new Fuji film (20% vol student i.d.) . 

Suite 2410 

330 West 42nd St., Ste. 2410, NYC 10036; 
(212) 947-1417/ Contact: Madeleine Solano 
1 0% discount on all editing services and facilities: 
16 mm; 3/4" to 3/4"; Betacam to Betacam; 
AVID; Betacam SP to Betacam SP - A/B Roll, 
Chyron, Digital Effects. 



Technicolor Inc., East Coast Division 

321 West 44th St., NYC 10036; (212) 582- 



Discounts on processing; deeper discounts, avail- 
able to students and feature-length projects. 

NORTH CAROLINA 

The Empowerment Project 

3403 Highway 54 West, Chapel Hill, NC 
27516; (919) 967-1863/ 



20% discount on video editing; up to 35% dis- 



count tor select 



• • • 




We do it all, from A to 2. 

• Post-production • Duplication 

• Customization • Distribution 



From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




ms 



VIDEO DUB INC. 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 



tri0 ^ 



$3.95 us $5.25 can 



APRIL 1997 




endent 




monthly 





The many faces of 

STEVEN SODERBERGH 

Writer, director, cinematographer & star of Schizopolis 



FIVF 



fOURDIIIOI 

rot iiomnotiT 

TIM01IDMLI 



of stock footage and 20,000,000 historical photos, we've gof all fhe ingredients for your next film, 
multimedia or prinf project. Cataloged, copyrighf-cleared and ready for you to use. Many images 
are already available in digital formaf. So give us a call and lef's gef cookin'! fc 





Fax us on your letterhead for 

a free brochure and sample reel. 

And check oul our on-line databases 

on Footege.ner and on CompuServe. 






Your One Call To History: 

800-87G-5115 



*s 



Vt X4 w 




V 



M 



53Q W. 25th Street, New York, NY 1DDD1 Tel. (212) 62D-3955 Fax (212) 645-2137 



Put the Film Transfer SUPERstars 

To Work For You. 



SUPER 

35mm 



SUPER 

16mm 



SUPER 




Count on our award-winning talent for SUPER TRANSFERS IN PAL + IMTSC. 

Truly state-of-the-art work. On-time, on-target and within your budget. 

L Our SUPER transfers with DIGITAL RANK 4:2:2 take your project smoothly from one 
^ medium to another. From 35 MM ,16 MM, tape to tape, and slides — to D-l, 
D-2, D-3, Digital Beta, Beta SP, 1" and 3/4". 



Call 212.243.490D today for SUPER quotes. 
(We'll gladly shoot a list of all our other capabilities to you too.) 




15 West 20th St ■ New York, NY 10011 ■ Tel 212.243.4900 ■ Fax 212.675.0435 




APRIL 1997 

VOLUME 20, NUMBER 3 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Dana Harris 

Assistant Editor: Ryan Deussing 

Contributing Editors: Luke Hones, Barbara Bliss Osborn, 

Roberto Quezada-Dardon, Robert L. Seigel, Esq. 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 807-1400 x225 

National Distribution: Total Circulation (Manhattan) 

(201) 342-6334; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal Services 

Send address changes to: The Independent Film & 

Video Monthly, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013. 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731- 
5198) is published monthly except February and 
September by the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational founda- 
tion dedicated to the promotion of video and film. 
Subscription to the magazine ($45/yr individual; $25/yr 
student; $75/yr library; $100/yr nonprofit organization; 
$150/yr business/industry) is included in annual mem- 
bership dues paid to the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the national trade associ- 
ation of individuals involved in independent film and 
video, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013, (212) 807- 
1400; fax: (212) 463-8519; independent@aivf.org; 
http:// www.aivf.org 

Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at addi- 
tional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address 
changes to The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 304 
Hudson St., 6th fl„ NY, NY 10013. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in 
part with public funds from the New York State Council 
on the Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment 
for the Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to 
the editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require writ- 
ten permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The 
Independent is indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 1997 

AIVF/FIVF staff: Ruby Lerner, executive director; Brent 
Renaud, membership associate; Leslie Fields, member- 
ship coordinator; LaTrice Dixon, Membership/Advocacy 
Assistant; Jodi Magee, development consultant; Johnny 
McNair, information services coordinator; Leslie Singer, 
director of administration. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq., 
Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Carroll Parrott Blue, Todd 

Cohen*, Loni Ding, Barbara Hammer, Ruby Lerner (ex 

officio), Peter Lewnes, Cynthia Lopez, Jim McKay, Diane 

Markrow, Laala Matias*, Robb Moss, Robert Richter, 

James Schamus*, Norman Wang*, Barton Weiss, Susan 

Wittenberg. 

* FIVF Board of Directors only 



Features 

28 Be Your Own Bookie 



by Suzanne Myers 

Know the difference between bookers and exhibitors? How to convince a theater to take a 
chance on your film? Self-distributors reveal their trade secrets. 




32 



Crazy for You: 

Steven Soderbergh Cuts Loose with Schizopolis 



by Patricia Thomson 



Bizarre, funny, indulgent, and beyond the pale, Schizopolis is also Soderbergh's lowest-budget 
feature ever. In this interview, the director talks about why he jumped off his career track to 
return to no-budget filmmaking, and what was on his mind when writing this comedy about 
New Age gurus, doppelgangers, and dentists. 




S^iZO/?oL% 



36 Seeing Double: 

The Strategies Behind 
Mock Docs 

by Erika Muhammad 

Documentary parodies, fake personal diaries, 
hypothetical biographies, and other mock docu- 
mentaries are on the rise. Erika Muhammed talks 
to three filmmakers about their aims and methods. 




2 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 




7 Letters 

9 Talking Heads 

Arthur Dong, Susan Streitfeld, 
Andrei Ujica & Denise Marika 

by Cara Mertes, Mark J. Huisman, 
Michael Benson & George Fifield 

14 Wired Blue Yonder 



Silent Spring Builds 
Bridge between 
CD-ROMs and Web 

by Rose Palazzolo 

Independent Branda Miller and Voyager team up to pioneer 
a new hybrid technology. 

Short Cinema Aims High 

by Patricia Thomson 

A new DVD publication showcases short films. 




Homepage, Sweet Homepage 

by Roberto Quezada-Dardon 



Doug Block's newest doc 
peers inside the Web. 



18 Field Reports 

Sundance '97: Surviving the Gold Rush 

by Patricia Thomson & Cara Mertes 

The already powerful festival increases its clout with 
its new premiere policy. Plus, The Independent's own 
awards. 




Sundance '97: To the Kids' Credit 

by Paul Cullum 

Pacoima Middle School students make a feature with help 
from Sundance and a long list of industry angels, and get 
an "A" for effort. 



40 In Focus 



Location, location, location 

by Chris Chomyn 

Location scouting isn't just about finding a place that looks 
right. Unless you know what to check for, your dream spot 
may turn out to be a logistical nightmare. 



The Do-Re-Mi's of Soundtrack Deals 

by Jeff Rabhan 



What you need to know 
before approaching record 
companies about releasing 
your film's soundtrack. 



IJIU. from Til. Motion l> I « 



Trainspotting 




COVER: Steven Soderbergh, playing a New Age speechwriter in his film 
Schizopolis, takes a moment to reflect in the bathroom mirror. Courtesy 
filmmaker. 



49 Festivals 
52 Classifieds 



57 Notices- 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 3 




CONDENSED 




Net. 7 PREMIERES (7 PARTIES) 

APRIL 22-28 



CO 



(J 
> 



g independent 
film 
channel 



For information call 212-352-4333 
http://www.genart.org 



MX 



\ R M \ \ I EXCHANGE 



Media 100. 

Approaching 1 0,000 Systems 

Online Worldwide. 



NEARLY 10,000 
SYSTEMS ONLINE 
IN 50 COUNTRIES 

•VINCENT601. 
NEW CCIR-601 
COMPONENT VIDEO 
ENGINE 

THEO". NEW MULTI- 
STREAM EFFECTS 
SUPERPROCESSOR 

- GAUDf. NEW 3D 
WARPING & EFFECTS 
ENGINE 

MEDIA COMPOSER 
EDL COMPATIBLE 




hSSmm 



www.medial OO.com 



Nearly 10,000 Media 100' online systems are used by producers everywhere. And now, 
we present Media 100 xs. It's brand new. And it gives you the new real-time features you 
need. Popular transitions - all in real time. Uncompressed graphics - fast as you are. Text 
and alpha channel keying. Single-track audio crossfades - and a whole lot more! All real 
time. All Media 100 quality - with 4:2:2 digital component quality throughout. 

If you don't already own a Media 100 system, you'll want to see Media 100 xs. It's powerful. 
It's affordable. And it's here now. 



Stay Current. 
Attend a Free 
Media 100 
Seminar. 





All Systems Compatible & Upgradeable 


Model 


MSRP 


Media 100 xs 


$24,995 


Media 100/Whole Deal 


$22,990 


Media 100/Suite Deal 


$14,990 



Our seminars fill up fast. Please register as soon as possible. 



For a real opportunity to learn more, attend one of our free Media 100 seminars. They're the ideal start- 
ing point for anyone buying a nonlinear system - or if you simply want to stay current. 

Location Date Location Date 



Atlanta, GA 
Boston, MA 
Chicago, IL 
Cincinnati, OH 
Houston, TX 
Los Angeles, CA 



January 21 
January 16 
January 22 
January 21 
January 21 
January 21 



Miami, FL January 23 

Minneapolis, MN January 21 

NYC, NY January 23 

San Francisco, CA January 22 

Seattle, WA January 23 



Call to check us out. 

(800)832-8188 



B1996 Data Translation, Inc.. All right: 



I other products and brands are trademarks of their respective holders. Pri 



and Suite Deal are trademarks of Data Translation, Inc. • 



Announcing... 

The First Annual IDA Award 
for The Best Use of News Footage in a 

Documentary 

Presented by ABCNEWS VideoSource 



For more than thirteen years, the 
International Documentary Association has 
dedicated itself to excellence in documentary 
film production. Its 1,500 
members include writers, 
cinematographers, 
producers and represent- 
atives of every branch of 
the filmmaking art. 

Each year, at its 
annual awards ceremony 
in Los Angeles, the IDA 




celebrates the best in documentary filmmaking 
with the presentation of prizes in varying 
categories, including, for the first time, an 

award for the best use 
of news stock footage 
in a documentary. 
This newest honor is 
sponsored by ABCNEWS 
VideoSource, the most 
comprehensive news 
and stock footage 
resource in the world. 






For the fastest, easiest way to find the exact footage you want, come to the source 



Call for Entries: The award, plus a $2,000 honorarium, will be presented in Los Angeles on October 31, 
1997. The competition is open to documentary films and videotapes using news footage which were 
completed, or having primary release or telecast, between January 1, 1996 and April 30, 1997. The deadline 
for submissions is May 31, 1997. 

For complete Entry Guidelines, an Entry Form or further information, please contact IDA Awards, 1551 S. 
Robertson Blvd. Suite 201, Los Angeles, CA 90035-4257. Phone: (310) 284-8422. Fax. (310) 785-9334. 



©ABCNEWS 

V/deoSourca 



125 West End Avenue at 66th Street, New York, NY 10023 
800 • 789 • 1250 • FAX 212 • 456 • 5428 • www.abcnewsvsource.com 

The Tape & Film Collections of ABC News, Worldwide Television News and British Movietone News all in one place! 



©1996 




Systems No Longer Apply? 

I agree with many of the points made by AIVF 
executive director Ruby Lerner in her "Open 
Letter" [Jan/Feb. '97]. Independent film and 
video is at a crisis point. In a period of growth 
in the number of film and videomakers and 
technological advances that make grassroots 
video more accessible, indies are faced with dis- 
appearing opportunities for funds, "lock out" 
from mainstream or alternative broadcast and 
distribution, and a lack of access to (very over- 
priced) basic tools for completion of work. 

However, despite all the talk in the pages of 
The Independent about the grassroots, I see little 
action by the organization toward empower- 
ment. If anything, AIVF and The Independent 
have headed blindly toward a great "sell out" 
and centralization of media in this country. 

Four years ago, I made the decision to make 
my first feature-length documentary, a contro- 
versial piece that looks at a Greensboro, North 
Carolina-based Leather/SM organization. At 
first, I saw The Independent and AIVF as a great 
potential resource, providing information on 
festivals I could enter, opportunities for grants 
or seed money, and advice on the process of 
making a no -budget documentary. 

I quickly learned that the systems and meth- 
ods touted by AIVF no longer apply. Granting 
organizations, with a glut of applications, 
weren't interested in my small-budget video, 
instead giving funds to more "high impact" 
pieces with a larger potential audience and 
freer of controversial themes. A media center 
here in North Carolina wouldn't give me access 
to editing equipment, even though they saw 
value in my work. They were "afraid of losing 
grant money" because I was tackling difficult 
subject matter. 

Cable access was out of the question. My 
city's facility barely has the basic tools for live 
in-studio programs, let alone editing equipment 
that could be used to piece together a feature- 
length video from 34 hours of footage. When 
my documentary was completed, festivals and 
distributors — even those touted as "alterna- 



tive" by AIVF — passed, giving their time and 
resources to more marketable and banal mater- 
ial. 

I decided to take the bull by the horns to get 
my documentary directly to my audience. I net- 
worked within the Gay and Lesbian communi- 
ty to arrange charity showings, and over the 
past year I have had small but enthusiastic 
showings in Raleigh, Toronto, Indianapolis, 
Washington DC, and Dallas. I set up a Web site 
for the video that received more than 30,000 
visitors over the past year and offered the video 
for sale there. I sent review copies to as many 
publications as I could afford and received a 
handful of reviews. 

After a year of "guerrilla marketing," the 
video has been picked up for distribution by a 
San Francisco-based company that specializes 
in porn directed at the Leather/SM communi- 
ty — highly ironic, considering that my docu- 
mentary contains no foul language and only 
two brief scenes of nudity. In February, my doc- 
umentary [was] screened at the University of 
Kentucky as part of a conference on popular 
culture and I have been nominated for an 
annual round of community service awards by a 
national Leather/SM organization. 

The sale and distribution of my documentary 
will likely never pay back the loan I made to 
myself using a credit card. However, I was able 
to produce a documentary on a controversial 
subject in the heart of the Bible Belt and live to 
tell the tale. I learned an expensive three -year 
lesson on how limited and controlled "alterna- 
tive" media can be in this country when you are 
located outside the great city of New York, 
refuse to see your work as a mass market pro- 
duction, or do not see your work as a stepping 
stone to PBS or a major studio. 

AIVF should realize that the rules have 
changed. Unless the organization recognizes 
that "art houses" and "alternative media" are 
just as commercially oriented and limiting to 
different points of view as Disney or Time 
Warner and acknowledges the existence of 
video- and filmmakers who operate outside of 
"the system," the organization will continue to 
be irrelevant to more and more of its members. 

Randy A. Riddle 

Producer/Director, CCD Productions 

Winston-Salem, North Carolina 

Ruby Lemer replies: 

You have raised a number of very important 
issues in your letter, and I wanted to respond to 
a few that I consider key. I don't think we're in 
disagreement about the state of exhibition, 
either commercial or alternative. I pointed out 
in my article that even alternative venues "are 
under pressure to look more carefully at the 



marketability of the work they exhibit." I think 
this is an unhealthy situation, but without 
enlightened subsidy, a very real one. But what 
most struck me about your letter is the 
reminder that censorship is alive and well, even 
though sensationalism in the public sphere may 
have momentarily subsided. Censorship, it 
appears, has been steadily evolving into its 
more subtle manifestation as self- censorship. 

As to AIVF's commitment to producers 
operating outside the system, I feel very proud 
of a number of the projects we've been working 
on the past couple of years — both in the maga- 
zine and organization- wide. We began to recog- 
nize the changing rules you so accurately char- 
acterize in your letter a few years ago, and we've 
been trying to respond on several fronts. 

First, the magazine has already published 
and will continue to publish articles on self-dis- 
tribution, a route we think an increasing num- 
ber of producers will either choose or be forced 
to take. Second, we're collecting those articles, 
commissioning new pieces, and collecting pro- 
ducers' experiences for a toolkit on self-distrib- 
ution, which should be ready this summer. 

We have also made a commitment to pub- 
lishing regional spotlights in the magazine, to 
help counter the centralization you noted. 
We're working our way around the country; 
we've already profiled Boston, the Bay Area, 
the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, 
Texas, and Chicago. The Ohio River Valley 
region is coming up in the fall. 

Third, we're working on an exhibitors guide. 
We have about 1,000 entries on the database 
right now, and we hope this will become a con- 
stantly expanding information resource about 
exhibition opportunities, whether well-estab- 
lished or ad hoc venues. We know we'll need 
producers to help us keep that information cur- 
rent and as comprehensive as possible. 

Fourth, and the most promising to me, are 
the salons that have been created by members 
in a number of cities across the country, and 
which now involve about 1,000 producers. 
With our members' help, we will continue to 
identify other activities. 

Ultimately though, your experience is very 
heartening, because as difficult as it has been, 
you prove that with persistence and initiative, 
it is possible for a maker to make a connection 
with his/her audience. I hope it will serve as an 
inspiration to other producers. 

Errata 

In "ITVS Eyes Distribution" [March '97], Signal 
to Noise's Cara Mertes and Barbara Abrash 
were misidentified. They are, respectively, exec- 
utive producer, director and writer; and senior 
producer. 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 7 




PRODUCTIONS 

11 WEEHAWKEN STREET 

GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY 10014 

TELEPHONE (212) 6^1-1038 

FAX (212) 242- 4911 

*P0ST PRODUCT (ON SOLUTION 



AUDIO 



5 DIGITAL AUDIO 
SUITES w/Protools™ 

16 TRACK DIGITAL, 

24 TRACK ANALOG 

ARRISON CONSOLE, 

DIGITAL AUDIO 

WORKSTATION, 

ECORDING STUDIO, 

LIVE ROOM, w/ ISO 

BOOTH 

12 AND 16 TRACK 
Protools™ DIGITAL 
JDIO WORKSTATIONS 
w/ ISO BOOTHS 

ULL SOUND DESIGN, 
FIXING, ADR, FOLEY 

EXTENSIVE SOUND 
LIBRARIES 

DATA BACKUP AND 
STORAGE 

AWARD WINNING 
EDITORS 






VISUAL 



2 AVID™ EDITING 
SUITES 

ON-LINE AVID™ 
MC 1000 SUITE 
w/ 3D MODULE 

OFF-LINE AVID™ 
MC 800 SUITE 

9-27 GB STORAGE 
AVAILABLE 

3D GRAPHICS 

STRATA™ STUDIO 

PRO TITLE 

GENERATOR 

BETA SP or SONY™ 
9850 3/4" VTRw/TC 

EDITORS 
AVAILABLE 



ISDN REMOTE SITE I TRANSMISSION 




CUSTOM 
PACKAGES 



TELEPHONE 
12)691-1038 

FAX 

|12)242-4911 




I NTEGR/lTED 
SERV ICES 



« 



LICENSED TO KILL. 

BY Cara Mertes 



thought were "queers." That night also marked 
the beginning of a search for a way to explore 
the relationship between violence, sexual iden- 
tity, and homophobia. 

"I learned that the world is not a better 
place" says Dong. "I was brought up in San 
Francisco in the sixties, so my political ideals 
were shaped by that period. There was so much 
hope; the world was going to be a good place in 
a decade or two. But I don't see the heart of the 





pig, right, with 
pi Stiepard on 
location at Robertson 
-il Unit in 



"I WAS THE POSTER CHILD OF DISASTER," SAYS 
documentarian Arthur Dong about his 
recent experience at the 1997 Sundance Film 
Festival: an early screening of Licensed to Kill 
left him with a mangled print. After Dong 
had another print flown in, the film went on 
to garner two documentary awards: the 
Filmmaker's Trophy and Best Directing. 

San Francisco-based Dong is already well 
known as the maker of the Oscar-nominated 
SewingWoman (1987), Forbidden City, U.S.A. 
(1989), and Coming Out Under Fire (1994). 
His newest — and in many ways, most accom- 
plished — film is both elegy and indictment; a 
tabloid story given grace through Dong's sure 
hand as producer, director, and, for the first 
time since 1988, his own editor. 

Licensed to Kill is based on interviews with 
seven imprisoned men convicted of murder 
between 1991 and 1994- Between them, they 
killed 1 1 people and wounded one in homo- 
phobic attacks. The film combines these 
interviews with local news footage, police 
footage of the crime scenes, stills of the vic- 
tims and murderers, and off-air footage. 

On the face of it, Licensed to Kill took a 
year and a half to complete, but for Dong the 
journey started one night about 20 years ago 
when he was attacked on the street by a gang 
looking for some "fun" — beating people they 



world changing." 

It is, in fact, a quality of "heart" that makes 
Licensed to Kill so effective, as Dong uses the 
film to, in a sense, embrace the enemy. Instead 
of assuming that these men are deranged, stu- 
pid, or simply evil, Dong approached his sub- 
jects as people who had answers to the question 
that drives the entire film: "Why did you do it?" 

Conducting the interviews, says Dong, 
inspired mixed emotions. "They were the most 
difficult, because it took me two decades to 
gather the strength to do them. They were the 
easiest, because I took all of my experience into 
the room with me. I knew I had to be a 'friend' 
to them and bring all that into the moment. I 
wasn't scaredj'I knew what I wanted." It shows. 
The clarity and soul-searching quality of these 
interviews is markedly different from the stan- 
dard "parole -board" speeches inmates often 
give to media when they want to impress others 
with their good behavior. 

Drawing from a National Coalition of Anti- 
Violence Programs' annual report listing more 
than 200 convicted murderers, Dong had two 
criteria for inclusion in the film — the men 
admitted the killings, and they knowingly tar- 
geted gay men to kill or admitted to acting out 
of homophobia. Eleven were interviewed; six 
were used. The seventh interview is a police 
interrogation that Dong weaves throughout the 
film. 




In each interview, Dong allows the men to 
speak for themselves, using simple questions 
and silence as his interviewing tools. By steer- 
ing clear of judgment, Dong allows the men to 
connect their crimes to their experience of the 
world. What Dong painstakingly reveals are 
lives wrecked by violence and of a society rife 
with contradiction. The individual stories 
amplify cultural influences and explore our 
common experiences of media, childhood, and 
society in a search for the reason these men felt 
"licensed to kill." 

Dong did not have to look far. He shows us 
clips of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell sermons 
preaching intolerance and homophobia, and 
many of the men interviewed cite religious 
beliefs as bolstering their homophobia. Some 
talk about being sexually abused as children. 
Others say they felt threatened when they were 
sexually propositioned by other men. Dong's 
films combine strong personal stories with his- 
torical and political themes, but he has moved 
away from personal- essay documentaries and 
chosen an increasingly journalistic persona. He 
did not tell his subjects in this film, for instance, 
that he is gay, or that he had been attacked. "I 
felt it would violate the relationship. It never 
came up. I knew if it had come up, I would be 
frank with them. But the film is not only a per- 
sonal story, it was more universal." 

Dong believes that as homosexuality 
becomes increasingly visible and accepted, 
reactions against it will become more pro- 
nounced. In Dong's estimation, increased toler- 
ance also results in more extreme reactions. "As 
we progress, we see how strong our enemies are. 
You see the contempt. We are forcing that part 
of the world out in the open, out of the closet." 

Dong is influenced by cinematic loners, 
including Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, 
Francois Truffaut, and documentary-maker 
Fred Wiseman, each who carved out their own 
visual terrain. Dong's spare approach to this 
film hinges on sophisticated simplicity; silences 
well-placed, a soundtrack so effective that it 
seems to do its work subliminally, and a 
restrained, no-nonsense directing style. The 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 9 



film also depends on an intelligent audience. 

"I wanted to leave enough space for the 
audience to participate," Dong says. "I want 
them to be able to make up their own minds 
about what the issues are and even whether 
people are telling the truth or not." 

After playing at Sundance, the Berlin Film 
Festival, and the London Gay Film Festival, 
Licensed to Kill is scheduled to open theatrically 
in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and at New 
York's Film Forum this month. Dong is also tar- 
geting high schools, where many issues of psy- 
cho-social identity formation are grounded. He 
hopes the film will inspire all audiences to think 
twice about homophobia in their own lives and 
perhaps even recognize something of them- 
selves in the men profiled. 

Licensed to Kill, DeepFocus Productions, Box 
16720, San Francisco, CA, 94116-1621; (415) 
665-9669; AdongLA@aol.com. 

Cara Mertes is a independent producer, programmer, 

and media consultant based in New York City. She is 

currently teaching and a producer for New Television, 

public television's annual video art series. 



SUSAN STREITFELD 

director 

FEMALE PERVERSIONS 

by Mark J. Huisman 



"When you say 'perversion,' people think it's 
kinky sex," says L. A. -based writer/director 
Susan Streitfeld. "Leather. Whips. Sexual per- 
versions. That's not a false definition, but most 
people don't incorporate the psychological part. 
I was looking to redefine the word perversion." 
Streitfeld has done just that in her audacious, 
visually stunning debut feature, Female 
Perversions. The film, due out from October 
Films this month, is based on Louise Kaplan's 
eponymous book, a provocative exploration of 
how society reinforces stereotypes about sexu- 
ality and gender. 

Female Perversions tells the story of an attrac- 
tive, affluent, seemingly successful, and sexual- 
ly liberated lawyer named Eve Stephens (mag- 
nificently played by Tilda Swinton). Up for a 
judicial appointment, Eve's life starts to slowly 
unravel when her sister (Amy Madigan) is 
arrested for shoplifting. 

"You cannot get away from your family," 
Streitfeld insists. "I have a sister myself. And 
that relationship is unique — that competing for 
success, attention from your father. Everything 



is at a pinnacle for Eve. And something has to 
break." It does. With Kaplan's text as both tex- 
tual and visual backdrop (look for quotes from 
the book slipped into everything from bus stops 
to magazine ads), Streitfeld created a richly lay- 
ered story about the relationships between a 
group of sexually and psychologically diverse 
women. In addition to the sisters, there are 
Maddy's lovelorn landlady (Laila Robbins), her 
wide-eyed 12-year-old daughter (Dale Shuger), 
and their boarder, a stripper played with sexy 
abandon by Frances Fisher. There are also Eve's 
lovers (Clancy Brown and Karen Sillas) and 
another beautiful lawyer (Paulina Porizkova) 
hired to take over Eve's job. It's a crowded can- 
vas, but full of sure-handed strokes of nuanced 
characterization, laced with a boldly refreshing 
eroticism. 

Streitfeld is used to entanglements. The sec- 
ond of five children, each born two years apart 
("My mother was very specific"), Streitfeld 
passed her Ohio childhood without movies or 
TV, which her father derided as "the video 
box." A child psychologist, Streitfeld's father 
studied his own children. "I would play with 
blocks and he would watch me," she laughs. 
Streitfeld enrolled in Syracuse University to 
study painting, but the blank canvas "terrified" 



Susan Streirfield on location 
shooting her directorial debut, 
Female Perversions. 

Photo: Gillian Lefkowitz 
courtesy October 



struck by lightning, she had a very bad car 
crash, and her father died. "I just had to 
change what I was doing." Accidentally, 
Streitfeld became an agent. "I was getting 
these independent scripts nobody knew what 
to do with," she says. "I didn't know I was 
doing deals, but I was." Streitfeld caught the 
very beginning of the indie wave, working on 
projects like Kiss of the Spider Woman, M\ Left 
Foot, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and 
To Sleep with Anger. But despite her glowing 
credits, she was restless. She left the agency, 
Triad, specifically to direct a movie. 

"I knew I wanted to make a film about 
contemporary women, power, and Western 
culture," she recalls. "But I had read so many 
scripts in my life, they'd probably go to the 
moon and back. Twice. I just didn't feel I was 
going to find what I was looking for." She 
then read Kaplan's book and convinced the 
author to give her an option. 

Having ventured into film to collaborate, 
Streitfeld sat down to write and got a sur- 
prise. "You're alone," she says with astonish- 
ment. "The amount of faith and patience you 
need to write a script is so immense. It takes 
a long time to wear down your ego, to have 
some kind of dialogue with darker parts of 




her, so she dropped out. On a sojourn to 
Mexico, she met a professional cinematograph- 
er. "Film seemed like a really great field that I 
could be creative in and not have to do alone," 
she recalls. Streitfeld attended NYU, but got 
her education from around-the-clock double 
bills of European art films. Because the industry 
hadn't taken root in New York, she grudgingly 
moved to L.A, directing and producing theater 
for the next seven years. 

The year Streitfeld turned 30, her house was 



yourself." The writing consumed three years, 
including an 18-month collaboration with 
playwright Julie Hebert. "The money raising 
and the casting and all of that stuff was far 
easier than the creation of the material," 
Streitfeld says. 

After Female Perversions debuted at the 
1996 Sundance Film Festival, Streitfeld 
engaged in some uneasy give-and-take with 
distributors worldwide. The film's rights had 
been pre -sold to raise the budget and not 



10 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



everyone was happy with the finished product, 
especially the fantasy sequences. Streitfeld 
made some adjustments, but held firm and kept 
the fantasies in. "It's part of the process," she 
says. "Filmmakers want to realize their vision, 
and distributors want to make money. Both are 
legitimate." 

She admits it's been difficult to end her 
"relationship" with Female Perversions and find 
another subject, but says there's no hurry. "The 
process I went through with Female Perversions 
is my process," Streitfeld says. "Some people 
have methods that work faster. My way is 
organic for me. Besides, not to have this project 
as part of my life when it's been there for six 
years? My child is going off to school! It's going 
to form other relationships. I want that, but it's 
difficult and it's painful and it's scary not know- 
ing what's coming next." She pauses. "A few 
months ago I tried to start thinking about a 
central image for my new film. That always 
makes me feel like I'm on an object as big as a 
raft sailing out to sea, praying a ship gets built 
underneath me before I capsize. It's about sac- 
rifice." 

Mark J. Huisman is a New York'hased writer and inde- 
pendent producer. 




Cutting edge 
at cut rates 

AVID On-line AVR-77 
with 3-D Pinnacle Board 

Interformat On-line 

D-2-, Digital Beta 

Multi-format Duplication 

Standards Conversion 

Multimedia Production 

Camera Rentals 



.VIDEO 



72 MADISON AVENUE 
NEW YORK, NY 10016 

(212)213-0426 



direictionr 

OUT OF THE PRESENT 

by Michael Benson 

Ask Andrei Ujica what it was like to shoot 
his second feature documentary, Out of the 
Present, and you won't get a pedestrian reply. A 
Romanian expatriate academic living in 
Germany, Ujica prefers loftier words. "A cosmic 
shot is all the time a shot with two or three 
objects in eternity," he explains in his born-in- 
Timisoara accent. "You have the earth, the sun, 
the space station — in eternity." 

We are talking about how to frame, time, 
and light in conditions no 20th-century film 
school would ever prepare a director for: in 
earth orbit, specifically during the approach to 
the Russian space station, Mir. 

Apart from its considerable other achieve- 
ments, Out of the Present features the first 
35 mm motion picture film ever exposed in 
space for cinematic purposes. To get this excep- 
tional footage, Ujica and Russian cinematogra- 
pher Vadim Yusov (DP on Tarkovsky's Solaris) 
taught Russian cosmonauts how to use a 35mm 







Betacam SP production packages 

Avid MC8000 S. MC1 OOD on/off-line editing 

component Betacam SP on-line editing 

Micnotime Paint F/X DL graphics 

Macintosh graphics & compositing 

component HiB transfers 

Betacam SP, 3/4" SP, HiB & VHS duplication 

25' x 3D' stage 

212.529.B204 

DV8VIDE0/738 BRQHDWRV NYC 10003 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



camera and work with lighting provided by 
sheer, unfiltered solar power. A lengthy consul- 
tation with engineers and technicians of the 
Russian Space Agency was necessary. 
Cooperation was so close that the spacecraft's 
trajectory was actually planned to create the 
best lighting. "You have only 45 minutes of light 
per orbital day," Ujica explains, "and in that 45, 
you have probably only 10 minutes with a good 
lighting situation to make your shot. And the 
shot is four minutes 
[long]." 

Out of the Present 
begins with a mes- 
merizing ghostly 
black-and-white 
TV image of the 
jewel-like Mir space 
station. Cradled in a 
web-work of Cyrillic 
lettering and spin- 
ning numerals of 
telemetry and 

accompanied by the 
methodical chatter 
of cosmonauts, the 
image already has a 
strangely mythical 
quality. But then, 
just when the audi- 
ence has time to 
register that a dock- 
ing procedure is 
underway, the blur- 
ry black-and white- 
image cuts abrupt- 
ly — with the force 
of a revelation — to 

the immaculate purity of a 35mm color film 
frame. The effect is shocking: a sudden, high- 
resolution catapult into orbit. 

All this may sound very high-tech, but Out 
of the Present is no specialized science doc. It's a 
piece of film art, complete with clever refer- 
ences to both 2001 and Solaris. At its core is a 
story about Soviet Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, 
who was in orbit in Mir when the revolution 
that destroyed the USSR took place below. He 
left the ground a Soviet citizen and landed 10 
months later — the long delay being partly for 
political reasons — a cosmonaut of the Russian 
republic. The mesmerizing footage of Earth in 
space, largely shot on Beta and Hi8, is intercut 
with images of tanks rumbling through the 
Moscow streets, headed for the barricades sur- 
rounding the Russian White House during the 
August 1991 putsch. 

Interviewed by radio from Moscow, 
Cosmonaut Krikalev is asked which of the 
changes back home impresses him the most. 




"Hard to say," he replies. "So much has hap- 
pened. But what surprises me most of all, per- 
haps, is this: Just now it was night, but now it's 
light and the seasons rush past. That's most 
impressive of all you can see from up here..." 
His voice fades to silence, engulfed in a vast 
vacuum at the end of an era. 

Out of the Present contains many other 
virtues. The images of Earth, moon, and sun 
from orbit rank with the most exquisite ever 
recorded. And the 
extraction of the 
returned cosmo- 
nauts from the tiny, 
charred cinder of 
their capsule after a 
blazing hot, old- 
fashioned heat- 
shield reentry is 
inexpressibly mov- 
ing. Covered with 
sweat, disoriented, 
unable to walk 
unassisted after 
months of weight- 
lessness, the voy- 
agers have to be 
physically wrestled 
out ot the narrow 
hatch; it's a scene of 
recovery redolent 
with overtones of 
rebirth. Sitting fee- 
bly in a folding 
chair, a cosmonaut 
is handed a steam- 
ing cup. He takes a 
sip and closes his 
eyes. "Lovely tea," he sighs. Leaning his head 
back, we see sunlight reflect from his wet fore- 
head. His hair ruffles in the breeze. "And the 
weather, it's wonderful." 

After becoming a surprise audience hit at 
the Rotterdam Film Festival in early 1996 (per 
Variety), Out of the Present went into something 
of an orbit of its own, winning a number of 
awards at various international film festivals, 
including Best Director at the San Marino 
International Film Festival. It will open theatri- 
cally in selected cities in the U.S. during the 
course of the year. 

Ujica's first film was Videogramme einer 
Revolution (1992), a film essay made in collabo- 
ration with German director Harun Farocki, 
which skillfully deconstructed the role of state 
television during the Romanian revolution. His 
next will be a fiction narrative shot in Hong 
Kong, also with Vadim Yusov behind the cam- 
era. "A deep friendship developed between us," 
the filmmaker explains on the phone from 



Berlin. His voice echoes eerily across the 
satellite bounce. 

Out of the Present, c/o Noon Pictures, 611 
Broadway, New York, NY 10012; (212) 254- 
4118; fax: 254-3154. 

Michael Benson (michael.benson(apristop.si) is 

director of the award-winning feature documentary 

Predictions of Fire (http://lois.kud-fp.si/kinetikon/) . 



DENISE MARtKA 

isideo irLstalLjttion artist 
MORE WEIGHT 

by George Fifield 



Video installation artist Denise Marika 
begins with the gesture. From a video of a 
simple human movement, she can tranform 
the image by taking it out of its moment, 
repeating it, and giving it a new context. The 
results transform the commonplace into the 
universal. 

More Weight, shown at the Museum of 
Modern Art last fall, begins when viewers 
walk into a darkened gallery to see, within 
the folds of a massive cube of felt, the video- 
projected images of a man (apparently 
unconscious) being carried in the arms of a 
staggering woman. The felt cube is held by 
two metal sides, and a vise-like metal beam 
crushes it from above. The room is filled with 
the sound of her labored breathing as she 
bears his weight, walking back and forth 
within the folds, forever. 

Marika, 42, turned to video as a sculptur- 
al medium while she was working on her 
masters in fine arts at UCLA. "I realized that 
[traditional] materials alone did not speak to 
the way we think and live," says Marika. 
"The performance aspect can capture activi- 
ty and document what's occurred. It's impor- 
tant for the way we see the world." 

However, Marika says that video alone 
wouldn't be enough, either. "Sculpture gives 
the work a physical body, but it doesn't let it 
breathe," she says. "One-channel video is 
dissatisfying because it's disembodied." 

As a result, her work embodies three dis- 
tinct elements: the physical sculpture; her 
personal exploration of an activity; and the 
video that captures her exploration. This 
process ("You have to do a lot of juggling," 
she says) often necessitates that she act as 
her own model. 



12 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



"In order to explore the activity, I need to 
get myself in that exact place," says Marika. 
"I do the performed act over an extended 
period of time. The experience becomes very 
real and I react to the situation I set up." 

It's Marika who bears the burden in More 
Weight, a piece that gains resonance from the 
fact that the video image seems entirely 
divorced from technology. The naked figures 
appear preclassical, evoking a timeless sense 
of heroic struggle. "I did a lot of research," 



work. "The most satisfying part [of the MoMA 
show] was the number of people who came 
through that museum. To feel that the piece 
could contact that many people is very unusu- 
al. That's as public as it gets for my work and 
that's very important to me. I want art to relate 
to us the way we relate to each other." 

Marika's work can meet that goal even in 
the most austere spaces. When she was invited 
to install a one -person show at Boston's vener- 
able Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in 1994, 




says Marika. "I really want some historical 
basis. The research started with Madonna/ 
child imagery. But knowing that I was going 
to be carrying a man quickly segued into war 
images, which are the only ones where you 
find a woman carrying a man." She describes 
More Weight as being about "those kind of 
relationship issues of who can control, who is 
carrying responsibility, who is burdened" as 
well as "the idea of challenging yourself to do 
something clearly beyond yourself." 

For Marika, that also means taking cultur- 
al risks. She installed her most controversial 
work near her home in Brookline, 
Massachusetts. Crossing (1994), sponsored 
by a local council on the arts, was composed 
of two transparencies mounted in crosswalk 
signal lights on a pole at a quiet intersection. 
The images are of a nude mother and 
child — Marika and her son — and the gesture 
suggests protecting the child from running 
into danger. Although the work contained 
no sexual elements, the nudity set off a bliz- 
zard of complaints. The controversy resulted 
in a series of community forums on the role 
of public art — and the work stayed up. 

Marika says her point was not to inspire 
outrage, but to gain a public forum for her 



she projected the images of four nude men and 
women lying down and curled under the con- 
crete benches in the museum's central indoor 
garden. Entitled Nameless, it looked as if archi- 
tectural caryatids climbed off their romanesque 
pedestals and crawled under the benches to 
sneak a short nap from their centuries of stand- 
ing. The sleeping figures also evoked the many 
homeless who slept on benches just outside the 
museum. 

"That was so much fun because I said to 
them, 'Well, I want to do something in the 
courtyard,'" says Marika. This didn't sit well 
with Gardner trustees; the museum usually 
reserves a small room for contemporary art and 
under Mrs. Gardner's will, the Gardner 
Museum is under strict instruction not to mod- 
ify the 19th century home. 

"At first they [responded], 'We can't do any- 
thing, we can't change anything,'" says Marika, 
who used video's weightless nature to help 
them change their minds: "Tell your lawyers it's 
light. We are just playing with light." 

George Fifield (gwf@tiac.net) is a video artist, adjunct 

curator at the DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, 

and director of VideoSpace, an alternative media arts 

organization in Boston. 




Dedicated to Digital Video 

A new bare bones production 
& post production facility. 



. . . Sony DCRVx 1000 Digital 
camcorder or package. 

...AVID Suite AVR 75 

MCXpress media composer 
Online or Offline with or 
without editor. 

. . . An equipped, vest pocket 
500 sq. ft. pie shaped 
production studio with 
12' ceiling, skylights (crane, 
dolly, portable monitor, 
Lowel DP, Tota, Pro lights, 
stands etc. Senheisser, 
Lavalier mikes, fishpole, 
boom, steadycam etc). 

. . . Rehearsal and office space. 

All located in an 
1826 row house inTribeca. 

(Special rates for Independents and 
Digital Video enthusiasts). 

Phone: 212 925 3622 
Fax: 212 925 2718 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 13 




Silent Spring Builds Bridge 
between CD-ROMs and the Web 



Turn on the new CD-ROM Witness to the 
Future: The Legacy of Silent Spring and first 
thing you hear are bucolic sounds that film- 
maker and CD-ROM producer Branda Miller 
recorded in her backyard in upstate New York. 
A few birds chirp, or are they crickets? Then 
brown leaves appear on screen to offer you 
options. Do you want to read Silent Spring, 
Rachel Carson's 1962 book which kicked off 
the environmental movement? Or maybe 
you'd like to watch some videos that examine 
environmental catastrophes today? 

No matter where you go, a little bluebird 
follows. Perched in the upper right corner of 
your screen, it points to the most unique part 
of this CD-ROM: Web links one can access 
with a click of a mouse. "Every page has the 
ability to hold a Web link," Miller says. 

Linking an informationally static CD-ROM 
to the ever- changing Web solves one of the 
greatest drawbacks of CD-ROMs. Like books, 
they stay current only so long. But by connect- 
ing to specific Web sites that are constantly 
updated, the CD-ROM can serve as the arma- 
ture for up-to-date research on a topic, in this 
case, the environment. 

Witness to the Future's hybrid technology was 
developed by Miller, the techies at the interac- 
tive media publishing company Voyager, and 
Joseph Annino, a computer-minded student of 
Miller's at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 
Troy, New York, who found it more difficult to 
do research on environmental groups in the 
library than on the Internet. He located and 
helped program links to more than 500 Web 
sites. 

The project began in the early nineties 
when Miller, an activist and educator, became 
frustrated with the limits of documentary film- 
making. She began experimenting with the 
documentary form, particularly ways in which 
the subject had more of a voice and was not 
censored or manipulated by edits and cuts. 

"I wanted to readdress the imbalance in the 
media," Miller says. "Every time an environ- 
mental issue is discussed, we are hearing from 
the so-called experts. A person in the commu- 




nity is who becomes the best expert." And so 
Miller went to citizen activists in three areas: 
the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern 
Washington, the San Joaquin Valley in 
California, and "Cancer Alley" along the 
Mississippi in rural Louisiana near New 
Orleans. These regions were chosen by Miller 
to address the three vital issues in the environ- 
mental movement: air, water, and earth. 
Shooting over five years during her vacation 
time as a professor of Integrated Electronic 
Arts, Miller worked in collaboration with local 
producers and media arts centers: in 
Washington, with the 911 Media Arts Center 
(the project's fiscal sponsor) and associate pro- 
ducer Robin Reidy Oppenheimer; and, in 
Louisiana, New Orleans's NOVAC Media 
Center. 

The imbedded video component of Witness 
to the Future lasts a total of 50 minutes. But the 
CD-ROM includes transcribed interviews with 
all of the subjects. So if Marta Salinas, a farm 
worker in the San Joaquin Valley, moves you 



and you want to hear the whole story, just 
click and the entire transcript appears. 

"Having just two minutes to speak into a 
camera didn't work," says Miller. "The sub- 
ject is at the mercy of the mediamaker. But 
this way a person could deconstruct the 
video and become their own mediamaker." 
Users can access other points of view — say, 
the government or other more traditional 
"experts" — through the Web links. The CD- 
ROM itself contains background information 
on Rachel Carson and the three profiled 
communities. Intended as a teaching tool, 
the package also includes supporting curricu- 
la for teachers and community leaders. 

When Miller was producing the videos, 
Rachel Carson's name kept coming up. Many 
of the interviewees said they became activists 
after being inspired by Carson and Silent 
Spring. So when Miller began discussing the 
CD-ROM with Bob Stein, then head of 
Voyager, he agreed to buy the rights to Silent 
Spring and work with Miller in producing her 



14 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



CD-ROM. It was Stein who pushed the idea of 
linking the CD-ROM to the Internet. 

The project was on somewhat shaky ground 
when Stein was pushed out of Voyager late last 
year along with 30 percent of its workforce after 
the board decided to eliminate Voyager's CD- 
ROM division and focus on laser disc publish- 
ing. Nonetheless, Voyager will distribute 
Witness to the Future (along with the existing 
CD-ROM titles in its catalogue), working with 
Forest Technologies to sell it to the K-12 edu- 
cational market. The Oakland-based Video 
Project will distribute the separate 50-minute 
video to the environmental market, while 
Video Data Bank and Electronic Arts Intermix 
will distribute it to the art world. 

The CD-ROM will hit the stores in April. 
But the Witness to the Future Web site is cur- 
rently up and running (http://www.witness 
tothefuture.com). It contains the curriculum 
resource list, order forms, and an "add your own 
voice" section for citizen activists dealing with 
environmental reform in their own backyards. 
It will also contain the Web-link list that users 
can download to their hard drives. This will be 
updated twice a year, so the research stays cur- 
rent. "This is a project that doesn't end," Miller 
says with equal parts pride and trepidation. 

Rose Palazzolo 

Rose Palazzolo is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. 



Short Cinema Aims High 

"Tape is toast," proclaims the promotional 
brochure for Short Cinema Journal, a new "mag- 
azine" of short films published on digital video 
disc (DVD). 

Big, bold, fightin' words — but that's always 
been the case when a new format comes along. 
As of this month, DVD is still spanking new — 
to consumers, at least. [For a history of DVD's 
development since 1994 by a startlingly harmo- 
nious alliance of video and computer manufac- 
turers, see Luke Hones' "The Digital Versatile 
Disc," June 1996.] Last month Panasonic was 
first out of the gate with its DVD player, and 
will soon be followed by Sony, Zenith, Toshiba, 
and others. 

DVD outdoes videotape on several fronts. 
First, it has great resolution: 700 pixels per line 
(versus 320 on a standard VHS image). It also 
boasts six channels of Dolby AC-3 5.1 
Surround Sound. Plus, it's a durable disc that 
looks modest enough — like a CD clone — but it 
carries seven times the capacity of a CD-ROM. 
Currently, a single-layer DVD holds 4.7 GBytes 
(vs. a CD-ROM's 680 megabytes). Later this 
year, dual-layer discs will hold 8.5 GBytes. 




pictures soun 



Post-production service 
for the Independent Filmma 



Pro Tools / Sound editing & mixing / ADR / Foleys / Synching 
Avid / Media100/ DVision/ After Effects / Off-line / On-line 
Digital title design & 3D animation. tel 




Lynn Hershman 
Laurel Chiten 
Jane Gillooly 




-to-Fi I m Transfers . . 



Call the Film Craft Lab. OurTeledyne CTR-3 uses 
high grade precision optics and is pin-registered for 
a rock steady transfer and superior results. 
A few of our satisfied clients include: 



"Virtual Love" 
"Twitch and Shout" 
"Leona's Sister Gerri' 



We offer a two-minute MOS 16mm color demo at no charge 
from your videotape. 

For Exceptional 

Processing & Printing . . . 

We've been processing and printing motion picture film for over 
25 years, so we understand the challenges of the independent 
filmmaker. We're a full-service film laboratory and one of the 
few labs that still processes black & white film. For professional 
lab services, call us first. 

• Daily Processing 

• Black & White Processing & Printing - 16mm & 35mm 

• Color Processing & Printing - 1 6mm & 35mm 

• Black & White/Color Reversal Processing & Printing 

• Camera Raw Stocks 

• Rank/da Vinci Film-to-Tape Transfers 

• Video Duplication 



THE FILM CRAFT LAB 

A DIVISION OF 

Grace & Wild rtwittinnn™ 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 15 



m m $ f 

mmmz 



€veriithing far 
Past Production. 



FULL LABORATORY S€RVIC€S 

T€L€CIfl€ 

€DITORIAL 

Past Prod. Supervisors 

Dailies Sunning 

€dge Coding 

Film €diting 

Digital nonlinear 
Flatbed 

Assistant €diting 

On-Line Cditing 

Cquipment Rental 
SP€CIAL €FF€CTS 

Digital/Optical 
SOUflD 

Design 

€diting 

€ffects 

Foleu 

ADR 

mixing 

Sweetening 

Transfers 

1/4" to' 
DAT to 
(Dag. to] 

music 

Composing 

Recording 

€diting 

Libraru 
VID€0 DUBBIfK 
TITL€S & 
n€QATIV€ CI 
VID€0 TO 
DIGITAL 



UJe are an independent Group 

of Businesses that make uour 

Post Production nightmare a 

DR€ A m 



For more Information call 




From 



Down the road, dou- 
ble-sided dual-layer 
discs will hold 17 
GBytes. All this stor- 
age capacity means 
that a complete fea- 
ture-length film can 
fit onto a single disc. 
Those currently on 
the market hold 
about two hours of 
broadcast-quality 
video (utilizing an 
MPEG-2 video for- 
mat). 

But the advantage 
of DVD technology is 
almost wasted on fea- 
ture films, which 
most people watch 
from beginning to 
end. With DVD you can jump between tracks 
at the touch of a button, just like an audio CD. 
Which is why the concept of a DVD magazine 
or journal with multiple items makes such great 
sense. 

Such is the thinking, at least, of the founders 
of Short Cinema Journal, Ninan Kurien and Boh 
Fuchs. These two investment bankers and their 
partners are launching a series of DVD journals 
on various topics, including architecture, 
music, and travel. The film journal, which had 
its public debut at the Sundance Film Festival, 
will combine short films with interviews, edito- 
rials, and ads ("but only ones that you'd want to 
see!" the publicity material claims). 

Whereas most DVD suppliers are thinking 
along the lines of Hollywood films or entertain- 
ment games, Kurien and Fuchs have a different 
idea in mind. "The model they keep throwing 
out is the New Yorker or Vanity Fair on film," 
says Holly Willis, West Coast editor of Film- 
maker magazine and primary curator of the 
Short Cmema Journal. The premiere issue mixes 
up narrative shorts like Billy Bob Thornton's 
Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade (precursor to his 
feature Sling Blade), experimental classics like 
Chick Strand's 1979 Kristallnaeht, 3-D anima- 
tions like Tim Watts and David Stoten's The Big 
Story, and a 15-minute interview with director 
Michael Apted {35 Up, Gorillas in the Mist). 
"Each issue will be theme-based. The first issue 
is Invention," says Willis, "and the next will be 
Dreams." 

While they hope to produce new editions of 
Short Cinema Journal on a monthly basis, that 
will depend on financing, which was still com- 
ing together at the time of the journal's January 
debut. A marketing plan has been drawn up 
that will take Short Cinema Journal into book- 



the DVD anthology, Short Cinema Journal. 

I 4 . * . 




stores, newsstands, video rental outlets, and 
other retail stores, as well as make it avail- 
able by subscription (for approximately 
$84/yr). 

In the meantime, Willis is scouring the 
short film circuit for interesting work and 
indicates that she's wide open to submis- 
sions. For the first issue, they paid a flat fee 
of approximately $1,000 per work. "We'll 
probably build back-end into the contracts 
later," she notes. 

Willis accepts work on toast — er, half- 
inch tape. Submissions should be sent to: 
Holly Willis, Short Cinema Journal, 2014 
Pacific Ave., Venice, CA 90210; (310) 821- 
9843; fax: 921-4661; www.shortcinema.com. 

Patricia Thomson 

Patricia Tliotrison is editor m chief of The Independent. 

Homepage, 
Sweet Homepage 

In his video-in-progress Homepage, Doug 
Block trains his wry, analytical lens on per- 
sonal Web sites, and in the process, finds a 
parallel universe. 

The main subject of Block's video is Justin 
Hall, a charismatic Swarthmore student and 
Web proselytizer whose homepage (http:// 
www.links.net/) receives 20,000 hits a month 
and elicits over 1 ,0Q0 emails. 

What makes Justin Hall's home page so 
appealing? The best home pages — like the 
best documentaries — have at their center an 
engaging character with a well-told story. 
Justin's homepage has Justin. Fortunately for 
Luddites, so does Block's film. As the veter- 
an documentary maker says, "Justin lives an 



16 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



#!• 



YOUR LIBRARY 

HAVETHE 
INDEPENDENT? 

Take this coupon to 

your school or public 

librarian and request a 

subscription today! 



10 issues/yr. 
Library subscription rate $75 

Published by the Foundation for 

Independent Video and Film 

ISSN 0731-0589 

Order from FIVF, 

304 Hudson St., 6th FL, NY, NY 10013; 

(212) 807-1400x235 

EBSCO: (205) 991-6600; 

fax (205) 991-1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283-2966; 

CAN (519) 472-1005; 

CAN fax (519) 472-1072 






■ 



MMR 



'."♦£■■ 



m 



•c 



;:■■■■'..' 



m 



:-••■•■■' 



ORDER THESE BOOKS FROM FIVF 

NEW EDITIONS - ORDER NOW.' 

The AJVF/FIVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser. $29.95 AIVF members; $34-95 others 



The ATVF/FTVF Guide to Film & Video Distributors 

by Kathryn Bowser $19.95 AIVF members; $24.95 others 



The Next Step: A Film and Video Distribution Handbook 

Morrie Warshawslci, ed. $19.95 AIVF members; $24.95 others 



Order all three and save! 

$59.95 AIVF members; $74-95 others $ 



Alternative Visions: Distributing Independent Video in a 
Home Video World by Debra Franco; $9.95 AIVF members; 
$12.95 others $ 

Film arid Video Financing by Michael Wiese; $22.95 $ 



Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to 
Screen by Steven D. Katz; $24.95 $ 

Home Video: Producing for the Home Market by Michael 

Wiese; $11.95$ 

The Independent Film & Videomakers Guide by Michael 
Wiese; $13.95 $ 

The RO.V Online Experiment by Don Adams &. Arlene 
Goldbard; S5.CC incl. postage 6k handling $ 

Shaking the Money Tree: How to Get Grants and Donations 
for Film and Video by Morrie Warshawslci; $24-95 $ 

Postage/handling: US - $3.50 1st book, $1.00 ea. addl; 
Foreign - $5. CO 1st book, $1.50 ea. addl $ 

TOTAL $ 

Make checks payable to FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., 
NY, NY 70073; or charge by phone: (212) 807-1400 x 235 
or fax: (212)463-8519. 



■•.'..■■'.■■■'■. 
BMHgiBiiiayuF 



■rift 

■..•■>■-■■•■ 



MS 



interesting life filled with conflict and drama 
and humor, and he just writes about it." Not 
only that, but, as Hall is quick to point out, 
in the early days he wrote "a lot about sex" 
with his college girlfriends. When Block vis- 
its one of them, she admits she has to check 
Hall's Web site to see how they're doing and 
nervously admit she isn't sure how she feels 
about being so, uhm, revealed. (While ver- 
bose in his Web journals, Hall is tightlipped 
when dealing with his girlfriends in person — 
one of the many ironies Block captures.) 

Hall has quite a sphere of influence, espe- 
cially now that the mainstream media has 
grabbed onto his story. (It was a New Yorker 
story that first tipped Block off about Hall, in 
addition to a personal connection through 
his stepson, a classmate of Hall's.) In one 
hilarious scene, we see Hall, a 20-year-old 
with a pineapple hairdo and wrinkled Reser- 
voir Dogs suit, 
addressing the 
National Press 
Corps. It's a 
great shot — a 
room full of well- 
dressed, middle- 
aged journalists 
listening intently 
as young Master 
Hall lectures 
articulately on 
how to remain 
relevant in this 
age of Web com- 
munication. 

This is just 
one of the stops Block made with Hall while 
shooting Home Page. In the film, Block fol- 
lows the Webmaster as he traverses the 
country by train in order to make personal 
contact with friends and colleagues. Among 
them, the film's secondary characters are 
Howard Rheingold, founder/publisher of the 
Web site Electric Minds (www.minds. com); 
Julie Petersen (www.awaken.org), former 
managing editor of HotWired; Carl Steadman 
and Joey Anuff, cofounders and publishers of 
Suck (www.suck.com); Stefanie Syman, cop- 
ublisher/coeditor of Feed (www. feedmag. 
com); Aliza Sherman, aka cybergrrl (www. 
cybergrrl.com), and geek soap star Rebecca 
Eisenberg (www.geekcereal.com). 

But the conceptual heart of the film — and 
the reason why it will be of interest to so 
many filmmakers — is the way in which the 
activities of Doug Block, the personal docu- 
mentary filmmaker, and Justin Hall, the per- 
sonal Webmaster, oddly mirror each other. 
It's a point that's not lost on either, who each 




incorporate the other's documentary process 
into their opus. Block starts appearing as a sub- 
ject in Hall's home page, and at one point Hall 
finagles the camera away from Block and 
embarasses the interviewer with a few questions 
of his own. 

Block admits that much of the year was 
spent in mortal combat with Justin "for control 
of how we would present each other in each of 
our published diaries." Some of that may well 
appear in the final film; Block shot a four-hour 
discussion between the two on how home pages 
and documentary journals differ, what the film- 
maker and his subject have in common, and 
how the shooting of Home Page and being dis- 
cussed on a home page affected each other. 

As a 43-year-old filmmaker trying to create 
his first Web site, Block learned much from 
Hall and his 20-year-old friends, and says his 
home page carries as much weight as the film. 
"By excerpting the 
transcripts and 
linking the refer- 
ences the charac- 
ters make to each 
other, the reader 
can take his own 
nonlinear voyage 
through the story," 
Block says. "And 
they can go so 
much deeper into 
the Web and into 
who these people 
are — because all 
these people are 
pioneers doing 
what I think is the best work on the Web." 

Hanging around these web gurus, especial- 
ly Hall, Block came to realize an important dif- 
ference between his film and home page: "The 
Web is not about perfection. It's not like a doc- 
umentary, where you work real hard to get this 
final piece perfected as best you can and then 
ship it out into the world for people to see," he 
says. "The site goes up unformed into cyber- 
space, and you just keep working on it. A home 
page is a never-ending work-in-progress. That 
was a real revelation. 

"Bottom-line, it's all an experiment," he says 
of his Web version of the documentary. "It's all 
fun. And it'll probably outlast the film." 

For the Web according to Justin (and tips on 
how to create your own homepage), go to 
http://www.links.net/dox/forge.html. Doug 
Block's home page is at http://www.d-word. 
com. 

Roberto Quezada-Dardon 

Roberto Quezada-Dardon is the website designer for 
Amnesty International- USA (www.amnesty-usa.org) . 



Justin Hall, 
Web guru, 
on his 
homepage. 



Avant-gardistes: 

We were FIRST in NY 
to offer DV, Media 100 

& DigitalBetacam 
broadcast services. 

Technophobes: 

We are an experienced, 
user-friendly facility. 

DV Users: 

Sony broadcast DVCAM, 

DCR-VX1000 & the tiny 

JVC Cybercam, plus true 

component bump-ups! 

Creative 
Editors: 

Rough cut or finish on a 

full featured Media 100; 

we'll teach you how. 

Document- 
arians: 

Robotic camera stand 
at an outstanding rate. 

Producers: 

DigitalBeta is NOW, 

move up to rocketship 

online, (hot rod editors 

and the bells & whistles 

at no extra charge). 



Digital 

is easy in the 

Digital Media Zone. 

DMZ/Eric Solstein Prod. 
212 481-3774 

We accept major credit cards 
& offer special discounts 
to AIVF members, call. 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 17 




SJRtfWMG THE GOLDRUSH 



M A. « k vl v ^ ■ ^^^^ ■ A w JH~_J 



by Patricia Thomson '• 



Maybe blood boils quicker in thin moun- 
tain air. Certainly tempers were flaring up in 
the Wasatch Range as a record-breaking 
11,000 visitors to the Sundance Film Festival 
jostled and elbowed their way into capacity- 
crowd parties and screenings. "Go ahead, call 
the police!" bellowed one furious filmgoer as he 
pushed past the beleaguered ticket takers into 
a sold-out theater. Reports of grown men com- 
ing to blows over their place in a stand-by line 
were not uncommon — nor that surprising, 
given how often people came away from these 
two-hour waits empty-handed. 

Long gone are Sundance's halcyon days 
when, as Variety critic Todd McCarthy recalls, 
"you used to be able to ski every day, never see 
a film before 4 p.m., have dinner each evening, 
attend the one nightly party where you knew 
that virtually everyone at the fest would be 
present, and where there were perhaps 12 to 15 
world premieres." 

There's barely a trace of this camp-like 
atmosphere in Sundance's present incarnation 
as a world-class festival-cum-market. Al- 
though Robert Redford &. Co. try to keep a lid 
on the number of films presented and ticket 
packages sold, they can't control the mass 
migration of single -ticket hopefuls to Park 
City — the swelling industry entourages and 
hangers-on who flock to this ski resort town 
like miners to the Gold Rush. 

People seemed particularly grumpy this year 
not only because of the mad crush; there was 
also the fact that no one struck pay dirt. There 
was no Big Night, Shine, or Welcome to the 
Dollhouse in the dramatic circle (Kevin Smith's 
Chasing Amy probably came closest), nor, on 
the documentary side, any Crumb, Hoop 
Dreams, or Unzipped — that is, no film that lit 
people's fire and had commercial potential. 

Which isn't to say there weren't terrific films 
lurking in the schedule. In the Company of Men, 
Chronicle of a Disappearance, Licensed to Kill, 
and Sick were some that got people's juices 
going, but each is too tough in its own way to 
be anything but a marketing nightmare from a 




commercial distributor's perspective. (Can you 
imagine: "Sadistic yuppies? No problemo! A 
nail through the penis? Sensational hook!") 

Still, it's ironic how people groused, given 
that just a year or two ago everyone was com- 
plaining how commercial Sundance was 
becoming, how it had lost its edge. Now when 
there's edge aplenty, people either wince or let 
these films pass below their radar when pontif- 
icating on the "disappointing" 1997 line-up. 

The dour mood didn't put a damper on busi- 
ness, however. Films were acquired by Fox 
Searchlight (Star Maps), Trimark (Box of 
Moonlight), Sony Pictures Classics (Fait, Cheap 
& Out of Control and When the Cat's Away) 
Miramax (House of Yes), Goldwyn (I Love 
You. ..Don't Touch Me), Lakeshore Enter- 
tainment (Dream with the Fishes), Gramercy 
(Going AM the Way), Mayfair Entertainment 
(Hurricane), and Roxie Releasing (The Lost 
Time I Committed Suicide). Selling prices were 
saner than last year, with no one coming close 
to the hyperinflated $10 million Castlerock 
shelled out for Care of the Spitfire Grill. 

From the festival programmers' perspective, 
the 1997 line-up demonstrated two trends. 
First, the rising tide of independent feature 
films hasn't hit a high-water mark yet. Director 



of programming Geoffrey Gilmore didn't 
think it possible to out-do 1996's 500 dra- 
matic film submissions, but this year the 
number climbed to 600. And that's double 
the number of four years ago. "This is unbe- 
lievable. Where do they come from?" 
Gilmore says, shaking his head. Given the 
romance of independent filmmaking these 
days, that number is likely to keep climbing. 

Second, the micro-budget feature hasn't 
fallen off the map, as was previously rumored. 
In tact, a quarter of the films submitted were 
made tor under $100,000, according to 
Gilmore. The rest were evenly split between 
the $250,000 range, the $750,000 range, and 
those higher. 

It's natural that all of them want into 
Sundance. Each year, it seems the festival 
can't grow any more in status and power, and 
yet it does. This year it took steps to further 
solidify its position, initiating a new premiere 
policy for competition films. Previously 
Sundance had allowed prior screenings at 
one or two domestic festivals. This year, "We 
demand U.S. premieres for competition — 
period," says Gilmore. "I don't think there's a 
single major film festival in the world that 
doesn't have this policy on its competition." 



18 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



While this is true — the battles between 
top European festivals for films are legendary 
and worthy of Homer or perhaps Machia- 
velli — in the U.S., there's no other festival in 
Sundance's league. A premiere policy is 
unlikely to lure any more power players; 
everyone comes to Sundance anyway. 
(While South by Southwest, the Los Angeles 
Independent Film Festival, and the Hamp- 
tons are trying to grow into competing indus- 
try events, they just haven't arrived yet.) 

So what's the problem with a premiere 
policy? In a nutshell, it hurts other festivals, 
particularly the regional festivals which don't 
give a fig about competing with Sundance or 
attracting industry types, but are geared to 
local film enthusiasts. Fall festivals like 
Denver, Mill Valley, Olympia, Film Arts 
Foundation, and Hawaii are now finding that 
filmmakers are saving themselves for 
Sundance, passing up the regional events in 
the hope that their film becomes one of 
those 36 out of 600 that gets a precious com- 
petition slot. "We're seriously considering 
changing the date of our festival," says FAF 
executive director Gail Silva. Because film- 
makers kept dropping out of the selection 
process or, in a couple of cases, the final line- 
up, FAF's festival brochure went out late to 
potential subscribers. As a result, says Silva, 
"We had a lower pre-sale this year." She is 
also concerned about what might happen if 
all the hot regional films are unavailable. 
"Regional films are all we show; we can't pull 
in international features," she says. Since 
FAF is competing with 17 other film festivals 
in the Bay Area, it needs at least one sure- 
fire attraction to pull in press. Otherwise, 
"we have a problem." While Silva notes that 
the goals of Sundance are the same as FAF — 
to promote independent filmmaking — she 
adds, "I don't want people to have to choose 
between entering Film Arts, where their 
heart is, versus the commerce of Sundance." 

Gilmore believes the impact of the pre- 
miere policy is overstated. "Eighty percent of 
the films I'm looking at aren't ready for those 
regional festivals," he says. "They're not fin- 
ished. Do you know how many wet prints we 
got in this year?" 

What's more, he found that some film- 
makers and festivals abused the earlier poli- 
cy. "I got films that were showing in five 
domestic festivals because each person was 
being told, 'Don't worry; Geoff doesn't care.' 
Each festival was using that as an argument 
that that's okay. It didn't work." 

The coup a" grace for Gilmore was how 
non-premieres were being ignored during 
Sundance. "They get overshadowed. Every- 
one's saying, 'What's new? Oh, that film's 



old; we've already seen that. Let's not pay any 
attention to it,' " he explains. "I found myself in 
a situation where some films in competition 
were being overlooked by writers because they 
were considered old news. And I didn't want 
that to happen anymore." 

The bottom line is, Sundance can evolve 
however it wants — to a degree. What was most 
interesting this year was seeing how the event is 
changing in ways it can't control. It's like a 
three -ring circus, with Sundance only in charge 
of the center ring. On the periphery were unaf- 
filiated companies hawking products and publi- 
cizing plans: Northwest Airlines and IFP/North 
announced their "Independents in Flight" 
series; Filmmaker publisher Karol Martesko 
unveiled his new tech magazine Res; the DVD 
publication Short Cinema Journal had its debut, 
and so on. Directly flanking center ring were 
the renegade festivals: the increasingly self-seri- 
ous Slamdance, now three years old, and the far 
funkier newcomer Slumdance, which was 
pulled together at the last minute via the Web 
by a half-dozen filmmakers. 

These upstarts may point to Sundance's 



The Official Awards 

Grand Jury Prizes 

Dramatic: Sunday (Jonathan Nossiter-) 

Doc: Girls Like Us (J. Wagner &T. DiFelicia 

Audience Award 

Dramatic: Hurricane (Morgan J. Freeman) 

jones (Theodore Witcher) 

Doc: Paul Monette: The Brink of Summer's I 

Klainberg) 

Filmmakers Trophy 

Dramatic: In the Company oj Men (Neil LaBi 

Doc: Licensed to Kill (Arthur Dong) 

Directing Award 

Dramatic: Hurricane (Morgan J. Freeman) 

Doc: Licensed to Kill (Arthur Done) 



Cinematography Award 

Dramatic: Hurricane (Morgan J. Freeman) 

Doc: My Ame7'ica...or Honk ifYou Low Buddha (Re 

Tajima-Pena) 



Freedom of Expression Award 

Family Name (Macky Alston) and Fear & Learning 
lementary (Laura Angelica Simon) 

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award 

Sunday (J. Nossiter &.J. Lasdun) 

Special Jury Prize 

Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Suj>erinasoc 
(Kirby Dick); acting: Parker Posey in House of 
(Mark Waters); production design: Therese DePi 
for Going All the-Way (Mark Pellington) 

Special Recognition in Latin American Cinema 
Landscapes oj Memory (Jose Araiijo) 

Special Recognition in Short Filmmaking 
Man About Town (Kris Isacsson) 



NATIONAL 
EDUCATIONAL 
MEDIA 
NETWORK 




supporting excellence in 
educational media 

PRESENTS 

Content '97 

11th Annual Conference, 
Media Market, Showcase & Exhibit 

May 28-31, 1997 

at the Marriott Hotel, Oakland, CA 

The Nation's Only Annual Gathering 

for Producers, Distributors, Users & 

Vendors of Educational Media 

Media Market 

Early Bird Deadline April 15th 

Conference 

Final Deadline May 7th 

Conference | 

Learn the latest trends, 
state-of-the-art technologies, 
distribution and legal basics. 
Network with producers, 
major distributors, funders, 
media pros. 

Media Market | 

The best, low-cost way to 
find a distributor for works-in- 
progress or finished 
productions. 

"I attended with a piece I believed in 
and left with dozens interested. " 

Lydia Pontius, 
Breaking the Dark Horse 

Showcase & Exhibit \ 

View latest Gold Apple Award 
winning productions. Browse 
exhibits, see media vendors' 
newest products. 

More Affordable Pricing 

For more information or to register call: 
510.465.6885 

NEMN 

655 1 3th Street 
Oakland, CA 9461 2-1 220 
510.465.2835 fax 
E-mail nemn@nemn.org 
www.nemn.org 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 19 



NOW ON VIEW 




no place (like home) 

THROUGH JUNE 8 

Interweaving memory, geography, culture 
and history, eight international artists 
explore and explode traditional definitions 
of origin, place or home. On view are works 
ranging from photography, and collage, to 
site-specific works created especially for 
this Walker-organized exhibition. 

THE ARTISTS : Zarina Bhimji (England! 
• Nick Deocampo (Philippines] • Willie 
Doherty (Northern Ireland) • Kay Hassan 
(South Africa] • Kcho (Cuba] • Garry 
Simmons (U.S.] • Meyer Vaisman 
(Venezuela-U.S.I • Kara Walker (U.S.). 



THE FILMS OF 

NICK DEOCAMPO 

MARCH 10-K 

A leading exponent of the counter-cinema 
movement in the Philippines, Deocampo 
has created a body of work that presents 
unflinching portraits of a country stricken 
with poverty, pollution, overpopulation, and 
hopelessness. This retrospective features 
some of his most challenging films and 
videos. Call for a series brochure. 

MOWELFUND FILMS 

TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 7 PM 

The MOWELFUND Film Institute, of which 
Deocampo is director, advances the work of 
emerging young Filipino film and video 
artists. This evening's program features eight 
short works created by these new-generation 
filmmakers. Call for a series brochure. 



WALKER ART CENTER 



future: as a major festival with 
independent satellite events which 
gradually become part and parcel of 
the whole affair. The alternative 
Fringe section at Edinburgh's per- 
forming arts festival got started this 
way, as did the now well-established 
Forum section at the Berlin Film 
Festival. While the Slumdancers may 
not be around long enough to follow 
this course, there are plenty of other 
ambitious souls out there who are sure 
to take their place. 

And the other winners are.... 

by Patricia Thomson 6k Cara Mertes 

In addition to recognizing the films that 
received official awards, The Independent here 
presents its own meritorious honors: 

Least likely "date film" 

That is, unless your idea of a good time is 
butting heads over whether In the Company of 
Men is a case of misogyny or male bashing, as 
viewers variously argued. One thing is certain: 
this was one of the most thought provoking and 
funny features in the festival. 

Ft. Wayne, Indiana, writer/director Neil 
LaBute uses black humor to leaven his creepy 
story of male one-upsmanship. Two corporate 
yuppies who have recently been spurned by 
their lovers hatch a plan: both will seduce some 
vulnerable babe, then drop her like hot cakes. 
While their anger is directed at women in gen- 
eral, the target ot their pay-back scheme is 
quite specific: a pretty but deaf temp worker. 
Needless to say, things go awry. But in the end, 
male cunning of the worst kind triumphs. 

The festival buzz was electric, with men cau- 




tiously 
probing women's reactions and vice 
versa. By the end of the festival, Alliance 
Communications had picked up worldwide 
rights, excluding North America. It won't be 
an easy film to market, but let's hope they're 
up to the challenge; the film deserves it. 

Biggest financial gamble 

After raising $10,000 toward production of 
Mr. Vincent, an American Spectrum entry, 
director Robert Celestino headed down to 
Atlantic City with his old buddy and produc- 
er, Phil Hartman, and laid every penny on 
the gambling table — all in one shot. "It was 
a bet on red or black, so the stakes were fifty- 
fifty," says Hartman, as if that makes it less 
crazy. It turned out to be their lucky day; 
they won $20,000. The filmmakers quit 
while ahead and raised the rest of the financ- 
ing through more traditional means. 

Shot in black and white in Yonkers, 
Celestino's home turf, Mr. Vincent tells the 
story ot an indifferent schoolteacher who 
falls tor a new love. When spurned, he 
becomes a stalker. While sold to Germany at 
Sundance, the filmmakers are still looking 
for a domestic deal, hoping for another lucky 
day. 




20 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



Most often described 
as "brilliant" 

Tucked away in the Frontier section was Elia 
Suleiman's subtle and altogether winning 
new feature, Chronicle of a Disappearance. 
But word spread quickly about this offbeat 
feature, and audiences grew with each 
screening. Having already won Best First 
Feature at the Venice Film Festival, Chronicle 
is unquestionably European in its influences 
and distinctly un-Sundance. There was not a 
quick cut, gratuitous sex scene, or whip pan 
to be found, though male angst of a different 
sort was in evidence. 

Writer/director Suleiman stars in the film 
as a Palestinian filmmaker, E.S., who has 
recently returned home. Moving between 
Jerusalem and Nazareth, E.S. is trying to 
write his next film. In the process, short 
vignettes of people, 



On April 19, 1993, during an assault on the 
Branch Davidian compound, 76 Branch 
Davidians died in a blazing fire. The govern- 
ment said the Davidians committed mass sui- 
cide. The evidence shows otherwise. "Our goal 
going into the documentary was to figure out 
how this happened," says Ms. Gifford of their 
165-minute film Waco: The Rules of Engagement. 
"The real tragedy is that everyone thought they 
were doing the right thing. The road to hell is 
paved with good intentions." 

With director/co-writer/editor William 
Gazecki, the Giffords spent almost two years 
producing the film. Its detailed analysis of those 
fateful 51 days is based on previously unseen 
footage shot by the Davidians during the siege, 
amateur video by an FBI sniper, infrared sur- 
veillance footage of the fire, news footage of 
government hearings about the fiasco, and 
interviews with survivors. 

In its uncritical support of David Koresh and 
the activities of the Branch Davidians, the 
film seems at 




places , 

and things from his homeland recur 
as if in a dream. In E.S., Suleiman has inge- 
niously created a character with no dialogue, 
only intent, and he has perfected a curious, 
impassive air that harks back to the screen 
presence of silent film great Buster Keaton, 
right down to the quiet hint of despair. In a 
rare international coproduction, Chronicle 
was ITVS funded and will be offered to pub- 
lic television for broadcast. 

Most likely to be suppressed 

He worked at MacNeil-Lehrer and CNN; 
she is a self-described tabloid babe, having 
worked at Current Affair. Together, Amy 
Sommer Gifford and her husband Don 
Gifford executive -produced a powerful docu- 
mentary about one of America's most misun- 
derstood events, the disastrous FBI-led 
assault on an obscure religious sect outside of 
Waco, Texas. 



times driven by an 

anti-government conspiracy-theory agenda, 
but it unearths important material in the search 
for what happened at Waco. When asked what 
prompted their interest in the subject, Ms. 
Gifford says, "200 years of uninterrupted demo- 
cratic rule is something I, as an American, am 
very proud of. I think that, as a country, we 
have the strength to look at this event." 

Most difficult film, to watch 

Filmmaker Kirby Dick manages to concoct an 
experience so exquisitely uncomfortable that 
one can't help but leave the theater with a new- 
found personal understanding of sado- 
masochism. Arguably the most disgusting film 
in the documentary selection, Sick: The Life and 
Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, was nev- 
ertheless disgusting for a reason. Sadism, 
masochism, chronic illness, pain, dying, and, 



V I 




PICTURES 



CUTTING EDGE NEW PCI AVIDS 

ON-LINE // OFF-LINE 

AVID COURSES // INDIE RATES 

FABULOUS ROOMS 

AVR 77 



212 255 2564 

34 W 17TH STREET 




April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



finally, death, have their really appalling 
moments, and the film's subject, the late 
poet/artist/performer/camp counselor Bob 
Flanagan, does not spare us. 

The filmmaker was a friend of Flanagan's, 
and what he so eloquently reveals is that 
Flanagan had his reasons. Born with cystic 
fibrosis, Flanagan lived most of his life in pain, 



changes." 

Like getting rid of Tolstoy's pro-Russian per- 
spective and turning this tale of fortitude into a 
powerful anti-war drama. Setting Prisoner of the 
Mountains (an Orion Pictures release) in the 
present, Bodrov avoids overtly naming the 
Chechen conflict, "but in Russia, they'll know." 
Bodrov bought in a Muslim writer from 




waiting to die any minute. Pain could only be 
borne, in effect, by welcoming it. This Flanagan 
does with gusto, and the film culminates with 
his infamous performance piece in which he 
nails his penis to a board. Relentless though it 
is, the film is well-crafted, intimate, and behind 
its shock value lies a gentle hand that seems to 
accompany a good friend down a long and dif- 
ficult road. 

The filmmaker hopes to reach a audience 
wider than long-time Flanagan fans. But don't 
expect to see this coming soon to a TV near 
you. So far, S/M is not an official TV rating. 

Best literary adaptation 

Somehow it's the English and American writers 
who have hogged the literary adaptations of 
late: Jane Austen, Henry James, William 
Shakespeare. But there's plenty of psychologi- 
cal drama elsewhere — like Russia, home of the 
great nineteenth-century novelists. 

Curiously, when Sergei Bodrov chose to turn 
a Tolstoy tale into a film, he picked a children's 
story. Tolstoy's Prisoner of the Mountain is about 
two Russian soldiers captured by Caucasians 
and held for ransom. The rich one's parents pay 
up; the poor one's can't, but he manages to 
escape using his cunning. The moral of the 
story? "You have to be strong," says the 49-year- 
old Russian director. "Even if you're poor, don't 
worry, be strong." He laughs. "I made a lot of 



Azerbaijan to help flesh out the Chechens' per- 
spective. Far more than Tolstoy, the director 
provides glimpses into the lives of the captors. 
With novelistic detail, he peers into the homes 
and relationships of these mountain villagers, 
whose ways have changed little since Tolstoy's 
day. Likewise the ethnic conflict. "I was 
amazed," says Bodrov. "It's the same situation 
as 150 years ago — same place, same people." 
Sadly, this is why some war stories are timeless. 

Best outreach & organizing 

It was when she was talking to Robert Redford 
about the links between her documentary and 
Utah's problems with nerve gas incinerator 
contamination that producer/director Judith 
Helfand was at her best: making connections. 
Unlike many others at the festival, she wasn't 
just interested in connecting with stars. With 
the help of outreach coordinator Pam Calvert, 
A Health)" Baby Girl connected with an aston- 
ishing number of local environmental activists 
who gathered at Sundance to see the premiere 
of Helfand's moving personal documentary 
about being a DES- exposed daughter. 

For Helfand, making the connection 
between public and private, local and national, 
her bout with cancer and millions of others 
exposed to chemical contamination, is a life, 
not simply a film. Six weeks of research, phone 
calls, and meetings with Utah activists before 



Sundance resulted in three local television 
appearances, soldout screenings, and at least 
one major article in the local paper. In a fes- 
tival known for ignoring the locals, A Health) 
Baby Girl was an example of the good old- 
fashioned skill of grassroots organizing. 
Helfand and Calvert plan to replicate that 
kind of work around the country. 

When the Sundance program first listed 
their documentary about gays and lesbians 
on the job, Out at Work, as Out of Work, pro- 
ducer/directors Kelly Anderson and Tami 
Gold thought they might be in fot a less- 
than- satisfying experience. Things started 
looking up quickly, though, and the exposure 
gained at Sundance has helped them launch 
a major distribution effort that includes 
working with gay and lesbian organizations as 
well as labor unions to organize local and 
regional screenings. 

Long-time organizers and activists as well 
as producers, Anderson and Gold want their 
film to draw attention to the fact that it is 
still legal in 41 states to fire people because 
they are gay or lesbian. The three people pro- 
filed in the documentary struggle with dis- 
crimination in the workplace, and each 
works with unions to get help. Their struggles 
to achieve equality* in the workplace had 
mixed results and are poignant reminders 
that discrimination is far from over. 

Best giveaway 

One only needs so many extra-large tee- 
shirts. Ditto those logo-emblazoned baseball 
caps. So when Starbucks joined the throng of 
festival sponsors, they spated us the closet 
clutter and offered something every festival- 
goer craves: unlimited amounts of free coffee. 
And as everyone knows, Starbucks is effec- 
tive coffee, with three times the caffeine of 
your average deli variety. So bless them for 
helping the bleary- eyed see and the brain- 
dead think. 

The good vibes award 

Even Geoff Gilmore smiled broadly at the 
mention of Slumdance, the upstart alterna- 
tive festival encamped at the top of Main 
Street. The renegade 
organizers, all wearing 
neon orange caps with 
the Slumdance smiley 
face logo, had the right 
bodacious spirit. (To 
sample, visit their web 
site: http://www.slumdance.com). The 
"slum" — a faux tent city with monitors 
tucked in various corners — offered free soup, 




22 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



Florence Helfand 
was prescribed 
the drug, diethyl- 
stilbestrol (DES) 
when she was 
pregnant with 
Judith Helfand, 
who later devel- 
oped DES-related 
cervical cancer, 
prompting the 
shooting of her 
video diary, A 
Healthy Baby Girl. 
Courtesy Ted 
Helfand and ITVS 





AMERICAN MONTAGE INC 



Award Winning Clients And 
Productions at Reasonable Rates 



A V 



& 4 

Film & Video Production 

Post-Production Specialists 

Time Coded Duplication 

Hi-8, VHS, 3/4SP, Betacam SP 
Editing & Dubbing 

Mac Graphics & Digital Effects 



375 West B'way 3R, NY, NY 10012 

3 3 4-8283 



slumber party, films 
galore, nightly parties, and a special excursion 
to a local tourist trap, the Park City Silver 
Mine. Events included the spontaneous 
"Hands across Main Street" (linking them in 
brotherly love to Slamdancers based across 
the street) and a technical awards ceremony 
during which prewritten acceptance speeches 
were thrust upon unwitting passers-by (rang- 
ing from Roger Ebert, who ad-libbed his 
speech after proclaiming "I'm a writer!," to a 
dog, who remained speechless). They ulti- 
mately decided not to give out their main 
awards — squeaky plastic rats sprayed with 
gold paint — "because we're not that kind of 
festival," says coorganizer and Slumdance 
webmaster Brian Flemming. Will they be back 
next year? "I don't know," says Flemming. 
"Maybe we'll do a rock opera instead." 

Patricia Thomson is editor-in-chief of The 

Independent. Cara Mertes is a programmer and 

media consultant currently producing for New 

Television, public television's annual video art series. 



UPTOWN AVID 



New - All Systems PCI 
200 Mhz - 128 MB RAM 



OFFLINE/ONLINE /VVR 77 



MC 6.5 with 8 channel Input/Output 
Large Beautiful Rooms - Low, Low Rates 

CJhree Convenient Creations 




26th 

and 

Broadway 



■■;.;■■■■■ -'Vtfy^;,:, '-""' 



Bleecker 

and 
Broadway 




91st 

and 

Broadway 





Call Code 16: (212) 496-1118 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




TO T53E KBDST CRESSET 

Pacoima Middle School Student 
Feature Bows at Sundance 



by Paul Cullum 

At the close of Hearts of Darkness, the 
Apocalypse Now documentary, Francis Ford 
Coppola makes an elo- 
quent (and visionary) plea 
for the day when prolifer- 
ating technologies will 
enable some little girl 
somewhere out in the 
heartland to make a com- 
pletely self-realized film, 
one completely free of cor- 
porate or monetary over- 
sight, which will in turn 
reveal her as the next 
Mozart. 

Sadie Benning aside, 
such a tyro Utopia still 
seems a distant point on 
the learning curve — at 
least until the digital stu- 
dio places the means of 
production once and for 
all back in the hands of the 
ambitious of heart, where 
God and Marx intended it 
to be. Until such time, any 
process that could put the 
odd Arriflex, Nagra, or 
stinger into the hands of 
the maturity-challenged seems an admirable 
first step — especially when its candidates are 
probably not destined for $60,000 film degrees 
or sleepovers in the leagues of ivy. And if such 
a process could also manage to wrangle some 
freebies out of an industry not generally noted 
for its magnanimity or sense of fair play, then so 
much the better. 

Enter James Gleason, a respected videomak- 
er and teacher at Pacoima Middle School, a 
performing arts public school in the San 
Fernando Valley north of L.A., on the lip of the 
high desert. For four years running, Gleason 
has taken a group of his film students to the 
Sundance Film Festival, where they could 
study the cream of the independent film 



sf 



world's Lotto winners in their first blush 
glory. 

Maybe it was just too much time spent 
growing up amid Chinatown's endless orange 



realized they were sitting on a hole card that 
could exert a profound influence. By placing 
the project under the auspices of a nonprofit 
group — which they named Next Generation 




I 



groves, conjured from thin dirt by dreamers, 
but inevitably the students decided early on 
they would make a film of their own. 

Now, 36 months later, the resulting full- 
length feature, Common Bonds, had its pre- 
miere at Sundance this year outside the festi- 
val's official lineup. It also played recently at 
the Santa Clarita Family Film Festival and was 
bought sight unseen by Encore Media (home of 
the Starz and Encore pay cable networks) for 
broadcast on their new children's start-up, 
WAM! America's Kidz Network. 

While indie filmmakers have traditionally 
been divided into two categories — those with 
room still left on their credit cards and those 
without — Gleason's bootstrap idealists soon 



Schoolteacher 
James Gleason's 
four trips to 
Sundance with his 
middle school stu- 
dents led to 
Common Bonds, 
(shown here), the 
product of teenage 
filmmakers — with a 
lot of help from 
their friends. 
Courtesy Next 
Generation 
Productions, Inc. 



Productions (NGP) — and expanding the 
open call to schools throughout the Greater 
Los Angeles area (eventually fielding a crew 
at least one-half non-white that ran the 
gamut from subsistence-level to Beverly 
Hills), they successfully struck a chord with 
an industry whose civic high-mindedness is 
matched only by its vaunted sense ot self. 

According to Evelyn Seubert, NGP's exec- 
utive director and, along with Gleason, one 
of two adults who served as de facto execu- 
tive producers on the project, Hollywood was 
soon beating down their door with its offers 
of free gifts and deferred services. "We pulled 
in over 100 mentors from the industry, plus a 
slew of parent volunteers and virtually any- 



24 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



one we could grab off the street who we 
needed help from, or who were able to 
donate," says Seubert. "And we had donated 
services out the wazoo." 

Initial finanicial benefactors included the 
City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs 
Department, ARCO, Great Western 
Financial, and Warner Bros. Records. 
Postproduction heavy hitters such as Todd- 
AO, Sony, Avid, Apple Computers, 
Panavision, and Hollywood Rental Company 
volunteered their services free of charge. 
Agfa contributed the film stock, and 
Sundance itself kept apprised of their 
progress, offering names to call and encour- 
agement as it could. 

In all, some $250,000 was raised in dona- 
tions and deferments, leaving them still 
$50,000 shy of their targeted production 
budget. (The TV deal just barely managed to 
cover it at the last minute.) 

After a year spent readying the script and 
six months of intensive training, the initial 
crew of 12 had grown to 40. Antonio 
Manriquiz, the film's 14-year-old director, 
was hand-picked by Gleason from one of his 
classes. Outside of that, all positions were up 
for grabs. 

"We basically had kids tell us what they 
wanted to do," says Seubert. "We had a lot of 
extra people for the camera crew, more than 
we could accommodate, but it seemed to 
work out alright. Even with the camera crew 
and DP we put them through this intensive 
training program, and we found that those 
who were really interested in it stuck with it, 
and those who weren't fell away." 

The most interesting aspect of the project, 
though, was its extensive "mentor" process. 
Patterned after a similar Independent Fea- 
ture Project-West program that paired work- 
ing filmmakers with women in their twenties 
to produce a 45-minute short, Common 
Bonds had more than 100 industry profes- 
sionals volunteering their time and know- 
how to make sure things went smoothly. 

Through Directors Guild President Gene 
Reynolds, such name directors as Donald 
Petrie {Grumpy Old Men) and Jeremy Kagan 
(Chicago Hope) came aboard to oversee the 
project. A series of six extensive test shoots 
were arranged, with a rotating crew of tech- 
nical advisors on set at all times to provide 
rigorous hands-on training. 

Director Bill Duke (Deep Cover), just then 
steeped in his own production, brought the 
kids out to his house and delivered an 
extemporaneous 30-minute monologue on 
the rewards and responsibilities of filmmak- 
ing, which earned him the title "Production 



Philosopher" in the tail credits and more than 
once served as a rousing half-time speech when 
things looked their bleakest. 

A gaffer mentor remained on set at all times 
to oversee electrical decisions and a profession- 
al sound crew helped out in postproduction. 
Outside of that, all work was created and deliv- 
ered entirely by the student crew. Thirteen 
writers (seven original, six for rewrite, all duly 
noted in the credits) conceived the story and 
produced the script. This provoked at least one 
potential Writers Guild mentor to bow out, say- 
ing he couldn't in good conscience support a 
film with that many writing credits. 

Seubert deflects any criticism of too many 
cooks. "Our goal was that every part of this — 
from the writing to the filming to the editing to 
post — was their doing, that every creative deci- 
sion reflected their vision," says Seubert. "That 
and to demonstrate by example, to instill a 
sense of appreciation in them, and to let them 
know that if you do your job well, and you're 
easy to work with, you will be hired." 

So what of the finished product? Does the 
finished film exhibit a spontaneous innocence 
or willful adolescent enthusiasm sorely missing 
from more polished studio product? 

Well, to be charitable, the conception seems 
to have outdistanced the execution. Despite a 
somewhat promising opening — three teens 
running amok in a spinster's suburban mau- 
soleum, equal parts Manson-Fami!;y Feud and 
Degrassi Junior High — flashy editing and showy 
camera angles all but get the better of an unin- 
spired storyline. 

The writer's maxim "write what you know" 
seems to have eluded the mentor's process, 
with the film predominantly set within the con- 
fines of a nursing home. With the exception of 
two brief interludes, all the characters but one 
are between 40 and infinity, a range within 
which amateur acting seems far less a hallmark 
of naturalism. Moreover, the last half ratchets 
down into a knotty, belabored thriller concern- 
ing Medicare fraud, all at the expense of char- 
acter, and with truck- sized holes in its logic. 

By contrast, the one scene populated entire- 
ly by young people — a brief romantic betrayal 
of the lead actress — all but leaps out of the nar- 
rative and suggests something closer to Kids or 
Girls Town, or the upcoming Gummo or 
Wliatever, which might have been a more ten- 
able narrative strategy. And while it's no doubt 
churlish to criticize teenagers in a field where 
seasoned professionals can't seem to get it right 
with alarming frequency, the fact that teenagers 
made a film is the reason we're being asked to 
take note. 

Sundance, to its credit, refused the film an 
automatic place in the festival, preferring 




AND YOU HAVE JUST ENOUGH CASH... 



FOR THE GAS TO NASHVILLE. 



I 



For the first time, Sinking Creek will 
be adding feature films to the festival! 

For the past 11 years, Sinking Creek has championed 
the revolutionary artistic expression of independent 
filmmakers. The festival in the heart of the nation's 
emerging film center showcases documentaries, 
animation, experimental, music videos, and now, 
feature films. Learn more about the business through 
workshops such as: Film Distributors Panel on American 
Independent Features and Film Journal Editors and 
Publishers on the State of the Art. Contact Sinking 
Creek now for submission and program information. 

Phone: 615/322-4234 Fax: 615/343-8081 

402 Sarratt Center, Vanrferbilt University, Nashville TN 37240 ; 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



THERE'S 1 WORD 


FOR THOSE WOO 


WART 10 POOSOE A 


CAOEEO 10 FILM... 



Nashville. 



I 



Nashville's abundance of music videos, features, and documentaries 
make it a booming film center. So its only natural that a top notch film school 
be added to the mix. Watkins Film School offers degree and professional 
certificate programs in producing, directing, screenwriting, cinematography, 
and editing. It's a hands-on education right from the start with an award- 
i^HOHooo^o^o^oo^oaoiooM winning faculty and industry internships. 

Want more? How about an advisory 
board made up of the likes of Bruce 
Beresford, director (Driving Miss Daisy), 
Steven Haft, producer (Dead Poets Society}, 
and Joan Tewkesbury, screenwriter 
(Nashville) and director. 

And, if your aspirations are high, but your 
finances aren't, you'll appreciate Watkins 
affordable education and financial aid 
availability. Call now for information. Then 
head south and make a major production 
out of your life. 




1-800-288-1420 

601 CHURCH ST,. NASHVILLE TN 37219 



WATKINS FILM SCHOOL IS PART OF THE WATKINS INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN. 
WATKINS IS ONE OF THE NATION'S OLDEST NON-PROFIT CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTERS. 






instead to work behind the scenes to arrange a 
screening for a group of senior citizens visiting 
Park City on an educational junket, where by 
all accounts it was received very well. 
Sundance's caution also served to teach what 
is perhaps the hardest lesson to learn about any 
field of endeavor: will and determination only 
hold so much sway with the governing laws of 
the marketplace. 

Yet take the long, unsentimental view of 
Sundance and — Tarantino, Burns, Smith, et. 
al. aside — the festival might seem little more 
than a glorified (albeit commendable) affirma- 
tive action program for successive waves of 
African-American filmmakers, women film- 
makers, gay and lesbian filmmakers, and all 
those cultural non-elites who traditionally 
have been centrifuged to the outer edges of the 
industry's sphere of influence. If so, then it 
would seem a short leap to actual on-the-job 
training — and who better to finally reap such 
rewards than junior high school students? To 
this degree, Gleason and Next Generation 
Productions seem to have accomplished — at 
least informally — what all but the very top-line 
academic programs routinely fail to do: provide 
at least a measure of access to rank and file 
positions in the industry, if only on an appren- 
tice basis. 

"You hand a kid a camera that he knows 
how to use, we are talking major self-esteem, 
major empowerment, you can change a kid's 
life," says Seubert. "He or she can go out there 
and work on an American Film Institute film. 
I've had people call up from New York asking 
for some of our crew members. I mean, they 
work for free, but still. A lot of these kids 
would never have been able to get the money 
together for a reel or any thing like that. Now 
they've got a shot at a career." 

And on the strength of its first round of 
graduates, Next Generation's goals seem to be 
paying off. Cinematographer Karen Chow has 
worked on some 15 films since the summer of 
1995. Vin Nguyen, the chief camera operator, 
has since crewed on two AFI shorts, two inde- 
pendent features, and three music videos. 
Director Tony Manriquiz is working as a sound 
tech. Many original crew members report con- 
tinuing contact with their mentors, visiting 
their homes, or tagging along on jobs, and 
many of these relationships will no doubt bear 
fruit. And recently, through Los Angeles City 
Councilman Richard Alarcon's office, in asso- 
ciation with Kaiser Permanente Health Care 
group, NGP has begun a series of Public 
Service Announcements promoting racial har- 
mony, with future projects in the works. 

And as a purely incidental by-product, 
Common Bonds might just boast the most com- 



26 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 997 



prehensive, maybe even morally responsible, 
set of end credits in the history of feature films. 
In a 5:30 running time, not only are all 13 writ- 
ers listed by name and all crew member names 
affixed with their age at the time of production, 
but all mentors are listed, effectively doubling 
the credits. Any donated service or production 
facility is included, along with contact names. 
Sources of funding are duly noted, including 
individual investors (no addresses or phone 
numbers, unfortunately) . 

Then there's the "Special Thanks" section, 
which lists five Encore executives, seven from 
Todd-AO, six from Sony, and officials of the 
Valley View Retirement Home, where most of 
the film was shot. Sundance and IFP West get 
three names apiece, as does the DGA. Every 
location in the film and area business that con- 
tributed are on copious display (that's the 
Kinko's in both Studio City and Woodland 
Hills). Representatives of Pacoima Middle 
School and the Los Angeles United School 
District are also listed. 

And finally, Next Generation Productions 
gets its own listing of officials (five), advisors 
(25; among its number Courage Under Fire 
author Patrick Sheane Duncan, The Usual 
Suspects team of Bryan Singer and Chris 
McQuarrie, as well as actor Kevin Spacey), and 
"special friends" (36). This before we even get 
to the music credits. Outside of possibly the 
final budget and number of shooting days run- 
ning in a crawl along the bottom of the screen, 
this is exactly what low-budget film needs. 

So can the controlled environment of a stu- 
dent film, even one as grandiose as this, ulti- 
mately provide an education in the world of 
professional filmmaking? Was the production 
rife with those building blocks of the studio 
process that breed character on most 
Hollywood sets — production crises, raging 
egos, competing agendas? Betrayal, deceit, pos- 
sibly fisticuffs in the editing room? Seubert 
appears philosophical. 

"Well, it's a funny thing," she says. "I mean, 
yeah, but not how you'd think. For instance, we 
had people who were quite competent to light 
a set, but they couldn't drive themselves to 
work in the morning. Half our time was spent 
going to pick people up. Or we'd have some- 
body who couldn't make the calls for the day's 
production schedule because she was grounded 
and couldn't use the phone. We lost our origi- 
nal sound team just days before principal pho- 
tography was to begin when their parents 
pulled them out for poor grades. And that's not 
to even mention the issue of stage parents. I 
think frankly, for a lot of these kids, from here 
on out it's going to be a piece of cake." 

Paul Cullum is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. 




en 



AVID 



(212)228-7748 



296 Elizabeth Street, Suite bf 

New York, N.Y. 

10012 

AVID & D/Vision suites 

at reasonable prices 

/?fl.nAVID is an HM Rifken Productions,lnc. Co. CALL ABOUT Beta SP Camera packages (IKE-57!) and crews 




WEITE • DIRECT • SHCCT • EDIT 

YOUR OWN SHORT FILMS IN OUR HANDS-ON, 

EIGHT WEEK TOTAL IMMERSION PROGRAM 

FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LITTLE OR NO 

PRIOR FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE. 



SUMMER SPECIAL SIX WEEK WORKSHOPS AT: 

PRINCETON & YALE UNIVERSITIES 

THE NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY IN NEW YORK CITY 

These workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy 



LEARN CONCEPTS OF STORY, DIRECTING, 

CAMERA, LIGHTING, SOUND AND EDITING IN 

AN INTENSIVE YET SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. 

WORK WITH 16MM ARRIFLEX CAMERAS IN 

SMALL CLASSES DESIGNED AND TAUGHT 

BY AWARD-WINNING INSTRUCTORS. NEW 

WORKSHOPS START THE FIRST MONDAY 

OF EVERY MONTH IN NEW YORK CITY 

ALL YEAR ROUND. TUITION $4000. 

ADVANCED FILM DIRECTING WORKSHOP AVAILABLE 



new yccr rii_M acadimy 

100 EAST 17TH STREET NYC 10003 TEL: 212-674-4300 FAX: 212-477-1414 
WEB: www.nyfa.com E-MAIL: film@nyfa.cpm 
FORMERLY LOCATED AT THE TRIBECA FILM CENTER 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 27 



Be Your Own Bookie 

Self-Distributors 

Reveal Their Trade Secrets 




John O'Brien, director of Man with a Plan, calls from the road 
at 7 a.m. It's a short conversation. "I'm in Rochester," he says. "I'll try 
back in an hour from my next stop." 

We've been trying to talk for two weeks, but he's always driving to 
Cleveland or hauling large batches of videocassettes around his home 
state of Vermont. For O'Brien, who's been booking his own film around 
the country, that's how it's been for the last year. 

Theoretically, all you need to become a self-distributor is your film 
and the will to see it in theaters. In practice, the process ot booking 
your own film — deciding which theaters to approach (and how), as 
well as figuring out which cities to target and how much money you'll 
need — is mystifying and time-consuming, if not daunting. However, 
this arduous route can be the best one when distributors don't want 
your film, or don't want it badly enough. 

Distribution methods have traditionally been well-guarded secrets, 
and until recently few filmmakers felt confident to attempt it them- 
selves. But following the self- distribution success of Joe Berlinger and 
Bruce Sinofsky with Brother's Keeper, more independent films are going 
it alone, and more filmmakers are sharing notes on how to tackle this 
uncharted terrain. 

"We got some small distribution offers [from] companies, with Arts' 
in the title and no money, to open the film just in New York and L.A.," 
says Dan Mirvish, director of Omaha: The Movie. "That's fine if the film 
does great, but otherwise it's over in a week." 

O'Brien's first film, Vermont Is for Lovers, was released by Zeitgeist 
and while he says he was happy with the job they did, this time he 

28 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



by Suzanne Myers 



opted to do it himself. "If you're a regional film- 
maker, it makes more sense to do it yourself, 
because you know your audience better. Even- film 
needs to be handled specifically, and sometimes 
distributors aren't able to do that." He set out on 
his own, and learned by trial and error as he went. 

The Exhibitor & the Booker 

The finely woven network of bookers and 
exbibitors is difficult for filmmakers to penetrate. 
"[Filmmakers] just don't have the connections," 
says Connie White, who books the Brattle and 
Coolidge Corners Theaters in Cambridge, Massa- 
chusetts. "You're not going to be able to get a good deal from an 
exhibitor without having a relationship with them. How can you com- 
pete against the small distributors who do, much less Miramax?" 

Normally, a theater is owned by an exhibitor — either a chain or an 
individual — and booked by a separate booker. In a few theaters (and 
fewer all the time), the owner and booker are the same person. The 
distributor negotiates a deal with 
the booker, who guarantees a cer- 
tain length run and then can 
extend it depending on how the 
film performs. 

If you're Miramax or another 
major distributor, you have 
leverage — you could offer 
another popular movie to 
accompany or follow the one 
you're trying to book, or 
threaten not to book a big 
film at the theater later. A 
big distributor can also 
book an entire chain of 
theaters, whereas a film- 
maker who books his or 
her own movie is lucky to 
convince one theater in 

The almighty postcard: 

promotion for Use Your Head. Courtesy filmmakers 




m\f * m\ 


Federal Hill got its start with a booking in 
director Michael Corrente's hometown. Proof of 
its appeal led to the film being snapped up by 
Trimark Pictures. Courtesy In Pictures 


4b^^\dm 


^L, f fc 


h 


^^ 


■ . 1 


mm 


w\ m 


I i 


i 


t * 






*"£S2°V» § ..-:-:-*«H(Bfe- 

. . , ,,... ., 

... .. ■ .. .,:,, ■::- 




iff 


*ft mM 



Where to Start 

Things have changed a lot from the days of Cassavetes dri- 
ving prints around in a truck. With the recent "boom" in 
independent film, distributors and exhibitors once pleased 
with a one-to-two-million box-office gross are unhappy with 
less than five. 

What's more, the exhibition climate underwent a sea 
change in the eighties, thanks to the nullification of a major 
antitrust decision passed in 1948 that banned studios from 
owning and controlling blocks of theaters. Today, studios are 
again free to monopolize chains and control most of the 
screens across the country. 

As a result, that friendly neighborhood arthouse on your 
block might be owned by an enormous and impenetrable 
chain or studio, while the multiplex at the mall might have a 
special screen reserved for little independent gems like yours. 
It's also possible that they both have the same booker. It's 
hard to know where to start, and once you do, it's a case -by- 
case situation. 

To open in just one town, you'll need a minimum of two 
prints and a budget of $10,000 for advertising; a much more 



a chain to take a chance. 

That's not to say that booking your own film 
doesn't have its advantages. Even White admits, 
"If you have a good plan, a realistic sense of 
what's involved, and a lot of patience, you might end up keeping more 
of the money your film makes than with a small distributor." 

However, self distributors must also bear the burden of proving that 
their films will pay for their space. White, who generally prefers to 
work with distributors, says she'll consider self- distributed films if they 
have regional appeal, cult value, a built-in audience, or guaranteed 
good press. 

Good festival play can also convince exhibitors that your film is 
worth a shot. Scott Dinger of the Dobie Theater in Austin, Texas, 
invited New York filmmakers Lee Skaife and Loch Phillips to show 
their film, Use Your Head, after an enthusiastic screening in 1996 at the 
city's South by Southwest Festival. Skaife and Phillips hope that their 
booking career ends here; the filmmakers' gamble is that the run, 
which began on February 14, will be successful enough to prove to dis- 
tributors that there's an audience for the film. 



Even a good review provides no 



(J4wl*]i TlAMiJ 



describes one New York screening: 
"I could have gotten more people 
to see my film if I had screened it 
in a parking lot at midnight." 



comfortable budget would be four to six prints and $30,000-$40,000 
for materials, shipping, and advertising. The hope is you'll be able to 
recycle the money you make back into the film's distribution as you go. 
Most theaters book three to six months in advance, often longer at 
theaters like New York's Film Forum, or less time if the theater is anx- 
ious to show your film. The extra print is in case of emergency and, 
more importantly, so you can begin to fan out your release and not lose 
momentum. 

Mirvish armed himself with his own enthusiasm, the Federal 
Express number of United Talent Agency (which then provided his 
representation), a poster, two prints, and an $800 trailer. He opted to 
skip New York and start in the Midwest, expanding slowly from the 
movie's namesake city. Omaha's release spanned almost a year and he 
booked the film in 30 cities, closing with an 11 -week run at a Los 
Angeles Laemmle theater and grossed around $60,000, enough to 
cover the film's budget. 

Surprisingly, Mirvish found that multiplexes and theater chains 
were among the most responsive. "They had to get used to the film-fes- 
tival director-introducing-the-film idea, but once they did, they were 
really excited," he says. "One week, we were second behind WMe You 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



If you're a regional filmmaker, it 

makes sense to do it yourself: 

You know your audience best. 



Were Sleeping." 

There can be 
good reason for 
opening your film 
in the cinema mec- 
cas of New York 

and Los Angeles: the New York Times or Los Angeles Times will review 
you, and great press can fuel the rest of your film's tour. However, the 
on-screen competition in these cities is relentless and even a good 
review makes no guarantees. Although Man with a Plan broke a 15- 
year box office record in Montpelier, Vermont, O'Brien's one -week run 
at New York's Cinema Village was 
miserable. As O'Brien describes it, 
"I could have gotten more people to 
see my film if I had screened it in a 
parking lot at midnight." Ironically, 
Man with a Plan made it onto the 
front page of the New York Times 
and into the New Yorker — but both 
pieces ran just after the film closed. 

There's an inherent advantage to 
starting close to home. Not only can 
the angle of "local boy/girl makes 
good" soften an exhibitor's heart 
enough to give you screen time, it 
can attract press. Advertising costs 
are also lower. Mirvish says he got 

more for his money in smaller cities and college towns because there's 
less competition and word of mouth travels more easily. 

Many filmmakers end up feeling that the money they spend for ad 
space in big cities generates profit only for the newspaper in which they 
run their ad, but it's an inevitable cost. Some theaters will even ask you 
to commit a certain ad budget before they'll book your film, as was the 
case for O'Brien in Boston. 

The regional approach can also lead to a film proving its mar- 
ketability and possibly capturing distributor interest. Director Michael 
Corrente had great success with this tactic; producer's representatives 
In Pictures sold Federal Hill to Trimark Pictures after Corrente set up a 
run at the Showcase Cinema theater in his hometown of Providence, 
Rhode Island. 

Once you figure out where you want to start, you'll need research to 
discover which theaters are appropriate for your film, and who books 
the theaters. Choose theaters that either book similar films, films from 
smaller distributors, are individually owned, or have calendar schedul- 
ing. 

There are underground lists of exhibitors and bookers floating 
around on the Internet and in the hands of filmmakers who have done 
it themselves, and AIVF is currently compiling such a list for publica- 
tion. You can also go to the library and look at out-of-town newspapers' 
film listings to discover which theaters are most likely to book your 
film. Mirvish suggests calling local critics and asking their advice, thus 
killing two birds: the critics will already be aware of your film when it 
does screen. 

Once you find the theater, the next step is convincing the exhibitor 
to give some of his space to your film. Send a tape, press kits, reviews, 
and ad slicks, then follow up over the phone. Of course, seeing the film 
is the most important factor in the decision. Some exhibitors will need 
to be courted for a while before agreeing, or may be swayed later if you 




can prove success 
in another city. 
If you get the 
exhibitor to com- 
mit, you'll need to 
negotiate your split. 
In a standard deal, theaters will pay you about 35 percent of their box 
office receipts. If you're having a hard time winning over an exhibitor, 
flexibility is key. You might offer to take only 25 percent, or to reduce 
your percentage if the film doesn't perform well after a week or the first 
weekend. 

Ed Arentz, who owns and 
operates the Cinema 
Village, says theaters some- 
times make a deal where 
the filmmaker gets 90 per- 
cent of the box office 
beyond the "house nut" — 
that is, a weekly figure 
determined by the theater 
that guarantees they make 
a certain amount before 
they pay anything out. 

Depending on the the- 
ater, an exhibitor will usu- 
ally only commit to one 
week, or sometimes only a 
few days. If you book a regular house, they can choose to extend the 
run if the film does well. In a calendar house, the schedule is less flex- 
ible. And a self distributor always runs the risk of being bumped. 
Competition is stiff, and an exhibitor is unlikely to extend your run (or 
even complete it) if a bigger film looms or is held over. 

Once you book your film, decide how you'll get the word out. Some 
theaters make you guarantee to spend a certain amount on ads, while 
others share the ad costs or do advertising themselves. Make sure the 
critics (or, more importantly, the ones likely to enjoy your film) receive 
a press screening on tape or in a theater. Suggest an angle for a feature 
story; it's even more desirable (and less risky) than a review. And plan 
ahead; O'Brien found that in many cases, magazines had lead times up 
to six months ahead. However, three or four months is more common. 
Although collecting the money from the exhibitor is always 
rumored to be the most difficult step, many filmmakers report that 
isn't necessarily the case. "We only encountered one company who 
tried to cheat us," reports Mirvish. 

So far, O'Brien's film has made $400,000, both theatrically and on 
video, which he is also self- distributing. It's enough to make a dent 
into paying back his investors. 

"It's been somewhat empowering," he says. "Too many artists don't 
worry about sales and marketing at all. That's not to say you should 
make art with that end in mind, but you should know how it works." 

Sparine Myers is a independent filmmaker and writer living in New York. 

This article is part of The Independent's on-going series on self-distribu- 
tion tliat lias included selling to the educational market (December '96) and 
the power struggle over arthouse screens (Jan. /Feb. '97). Next month: how 
to book your film with a multiplex. These articles and others will be com- 
piled by AIVF into a Self-Distribution Toolkit, available this summer. 



30 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



ALL NEW EDITIONS 

of 3 Great Resource Books From AIVF/FIVF 



ORDER TODAY - 



SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED! 



In making Picture 
Bride we turned many 
times to AIVF/FIVF 
publications for the 
facts on fundraising, 
production and distri- 
bution. Their books 
are up-to-date, well 
organized and accessi- 
ble. Best of all, it's 
getting the 41 1 with- 
out the schmooze. 
Kayo Haifa - 
"Picture Bride" ^ 



U 



When people ask me 
how and what festi- 
vals to enter, I simply 
refer them to 
AlVF/FIVF's Guide. 
Not only is it the 
most comprehensive 
and up to date listing 
I've seen but the 
indexes slice and dice 
the festivals into 
every conceivable cat- 
egory. It's absolutely 
indispensable for 
independent 
producers. 
Frederick Marx - 
"Hoop Dreams" && 



AIVF GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL FILM & 
VIDEO FESTIVALS 

By Kathryn Bowser $34.95/$29.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

The 4th edition of FIVF's best seller is a completely indexed and easy-to- 
read compendium of over 400 international film and video festivals, 
with contact information, entry regulations, deadlines, categories, 
accepted formats, and much more. The Festival Guide includes infor- 
mation on all types of festivals: small and large, specialized and 
general, domestic and foreign. 



AIVF GUIDE TO FILM & VIDEO DISTRIBUTORS 

Edited by Kathryn Bowser $24.95/$ 19.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

A must-read for film and video makers searching for the right distributor. The 
Distributors Guide presents handy profiles of nearly 200 commercial and nonprofit 
distributors, practical information and company statistics on the type of work han- 
dled, primary markets, relations with producers, marketing and promotion, foreign 
distribution and contacts. Fully indexed, this is the best compendium of distribution 
information especially tailored for independent producers available. 



THE NEXT STEP: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS 
AND VIDEOS 

Edited by Niorrie Warsbawski $24.95/$\9.95 members 

plus shipping and handling. 

Top professionals in the field answer frequently asked questions on distribution. 
Learn more about finding a distributor from Debra Zimmerman (Women Make 
Movies), self- distribution from Joe Berlinger (producer/director of Brother's 
Keeper), foreign distribution from Nancy Walzog (Tapestry International) and 
theatrical distribution from David Rosen (author of Off Hollywood). Plus find out 
about promotion; public broadcasting, cable and home video markets; non- 
theatrical distribution; contracts and much, much more. 



SAVE OVER 2 5% 

ORDER ALL THREE BOOKS & PAY ONLY $59.95 

Plus shipping and handling. 



CALL NOW (212) 807-1400x235 

Fax:(212)463-8519 

Or write: FIVF, 304 Hudson Street, 6th fl, New York, NY 10013 

Shipping and handling: Domestic $3.50 for the first, $1.00 for each additional book 

Foriegn-$5.00 for the first book, $1.50 for each additional book. 

VISA and MC Accepted. 



r/v °OWSE K 




FIVF 

i 



FOUNDATION 
FOR INDEPENDENT 

VIDEO AND FIIBI 




t> ~ 




SODERBERGH 



SCHIZOPOLIS 



21 TJi if INDEPENDENT April 1997 



Photo: Patricia Thomson 



-*W 



SCHIZOPOUS OPENS WITH A LONG SHOT OF A MANIC CRAZYMAN CLAD 
only in a tee-shirt fleeing across a green lawn with two men in white 
in hot pursuit. It's a situation the film's director, Steven Soderbergh, 
likens to being an independent filmmaker: "You want to be free, but 
everyone's trying to tackle you and bring you down." 

With Schizopolis, Soderbergh refused to be wrestled into conformi- 
ty. His fifth feature is an idiosyncratic, energetic, and blissfully 
uncommercial comedy that represents a complete departure from the 
director's expected career track — a screeching U-turn, in fact, that 
takes him back to the world of no-budget filmmaking. Shot over a 10- 
month period in Soderbergh's hometown of Baton Rouge, Schizopolis 
came together with the help of friends who took deferred salaries and 
sometimes doubled as crew and cast. For his part, Soderbergh not 
only wrote and directed the film, but also served as cinematographer 
and played two of the leads. 

For indie directors who envy the kind of studio deals and comfort- 
able budgets Soderbergh had previously managed to land, Schizopolis 
is a surprising career twist. But it's no fluke; the writer/director is 
already at work on a sequel. 

As the whole world knows, Soderbergh made his remarkable debut 
in 1989 with sex, lies & videotape, which cost $1.2 million and grossed 
almost $25 million domestically after winning the Palme d'Or at 
Cannes and making it into multiplexes everywhere. Its critical and 
financial success marks a milestone in independent film history, 
launching the current chapter in which indie film is taken seriously 
by industry, audiences, and college career counselors. From there 
Soderbergh went on to direct Kafka (1991), produced by Barry 
Levinson and backed by French financiers to the tune of $11 million; 
Universal's King of the Hill (1993), made for $8 million; and the $6.5 
million The Underneath (1995), also made with Universal. Schizopolis, 
in contrast, cost a mere $250,000 — about one-fourth the budget of 
sex, lies & videotape. 

Film-goers who have caught Schizopolis on the festival circuit have 
called it everything from "brilliant" to "the worst movie ever made." 
Filmmakers tend to love it, especially its freewheeling energy and 
wacky, witty film jokes that recall the cinematic shenanigans of 
Richard Lester (the subject of a book Soderbergh is writing) , Monty 
Python, and the French New Wave. But critics thus far have tended 
to hold their heads and groan. 

Schizopolis is a wild ride, to say the least, and it's giddy fun for those 
willing to lay back and let it happen. Bursting with an exuberant 
sense of experimentation, Schizopolis is loaded with verbal and visual 
jokes, bizarre non sequiturs, and goofy slapstick. While it sticks to a 
three -act structure (watch for the numbers), the plot careens like a 
drunken sailor between its story of double doppelgangers, involving a 
corporate -drone speechwriter for a New Age guru and a randy den- 
tist (both played by Soderbergh) , and their love interests (played by 
the director's ex-wife, Betsy Brantley). But beneath its jokey surface 
lie some more serious concerns: anxiety in the workplace, the loss of 
meaningful communication at home, and the vaporous content of 
New Age gurus who pretend to offer solutions to a society that's adrift 
and alienated. 

Schizopolis was a tough sell to distributors, most of whom were 
stumped by the question of how to market such a feature. Northern 
Arts, a small but growing distributor based in Massachusetts, took up 
the challenge, picking up domestic theatrical rights. (Previous releas- 
es include Drunks, Tokyo Decadence, 1 Just Wasn't Made for These 



Times, Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave and The Best of Aardman, and 
Chameleon Street.) Fox Lorber has domestic video rights and will han- 
dle world sales. Schizopolis opens in theaters this month. 
The Independent caught up with Soderbergh at the Toronto and 
Hamptons film festivals, where he was presenting both his film of a 
Spalding Gray monologue, Grab's Anatomy (an Independent Film 
Channel commission), and the surreal, irrepressible Schizopolis. 



Let's begin with the genesis of Schizopolis. How long were the 
ideas for the various strands floating around — the doppelganger 
theme, the New Age religion, your play on the language of cine- 
ma — and when did they coalesce? Or did the idea for the film 
come as a piece? 

It was a little bit of everything. Some of the ideas I'd been carrying 

around for a long time. Some were discovered when I began to write 

the screenplay. Others happened while we were shooting. 

How did the pseudo-Scientology theme, here called 

"Eventualism," develop? 

It grew out of my interest in gurus and people's desire to find a way to 

order their lives in a world they're finding increasingly hostile and 

complicated. I'm always fascinated when people relinquishe control of 

their lives to someone else, especially a stranger. That's always struck 

me as odd. 

I didn't really have Scientology in mind specifically. I don't find 
Scientology stranger than any religion. Personally, I find them all 
weird. But Scientology is one of the few religions that advertises on 
television and has images that are instantly recognizable that I could 
appropriate — the volcano, the book. You see that image and it con- 
jures up something. 
And it's not the Methodist Church. 

Right. So there was that and also it played into the idea of paranoia 
and in-fighting within a company. That sort of thing tends to be more 
pronounced in an organization that is run by one very mercurial per- 
sonality. 

Have you ever worked at a place like that? 

Sure. When I was doing odd jobs, I worked for companies that were 
basically run by autocrats and they were very unpredictable. Your life 
hung in the balance seemingly every half-hour. 
You play the two main characters: Fletcher Munson, the speech- 
writer for the New Age guru, and a dentist who has an affair with 
Munson's wife. I saw these characters as two different people. 
But when the dentist says, "I'm having an affair with my own 
wife," that throws that interpretation into a tailspin. What's that 
line about? 

Well, basically what's happened is he's jumped rails onto somebody 
else's life, but is aware of that. So when he realizes "I've jumped into 
somebody's else's life" and it turns out that somebody was having an 
affair with his wife, he's a little freaked out by that, as anybody would 
be. 

So in the first part of the film with Fletcher Munson, which takes 
place over the course of two or three days, when he jumps ship to this 
other life, he has been reliving those two or three days as the dentist — 
sort of skipping backwards. Then in the third act we see those days 
from [the wife's] perspective. That grew out of my interest in parallel 
time structures. 
Where did the two main characters come from? They're off the 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



beaten track, and I doubt they came from your immediate 
sphere.... 

Oh, sure, why wouldn't they be? I've seen a lot of dentists. 
Reaching that age where your fillings fall out? 

No, I've just had a long history of correction and bullshit. I actually 
have come into contact with a lot of dentists. So I picked a profession 
and a type I thought I knew well. 

But the idea of doppelgangers, parallel universes, and parallel time 
frames is something that's always interested me. I had an idea to do 
something about that for several years. But it wasn't until I was making 
The Underneath that I decided it was time to change what I was doing 
and how I was doing it. Sort of start over again. 
In terms of what? The scale of production? Narrative structure? 
Everything. Just start over again. Rediscover the joy of filmmaking, 
which I'd slowly begun to lose over the course of the four films I direct- 
ed. 

Why was that? 

I don't know. I was just drifting off course. I'm sure there are tons of 
reasons, some personal and some professional. The bottom line was I 
sort of woke up in the middle of The Underneath and felt I was making 
a movie I wasn't interested in. When I began to question whether or 
not I wanted to make movies anymore, I realized that what I needed to 
do was change what I was doing. 

So it's a progression, in a weird sort of way. Even though The 
Underneath is my least favorite, in retrospect it may have been my most 
important film, because the dissatisfaction drove me into a new area. 
Is this direction related to your earlier shorts? 
The shorts I made were very similar. 
In what respect? 
Energy, comic stance. 

When watching Schizopolis, if you're into the humor — and some 
people weren't... 
How could you not be? 

Well, some people really weren't — the overall feeling is that 
you're simply having a lark, that you yourself weren't taking the 
film too seriously. 

I needed a lark. Schizopolis is extreme in one way, and I think what will 
happen is I'll end up applying a lot of the things that I got out of 
Schizopolis to something a little less schizophrenic in terms of its story. 
The follow-up to Schizopolis that I'm getting ready to write is going to 
have the same energy, be made in the same way, and have the same 
m.o., but be a bit of a more linear story and not quite so complicated. 

This thing, I just had to get a lot of it out of my system. Now I think 
I can see a balance between Schizopolis and a "normal" movie, whatev- 
er that is. I'm hoping I can apply some of what I've learned making 
Schizopolis to that film — just a way of working that is interesting and 
allows me more freedom. 
Freedom in terms of what specifically? 

Stripping the crew down, getting rid of things that have been getting 
in the way, both from a technical standpoint and a practical crew 
standpoint. Things like video assist. You know, we made Gray's 
Anatomy with a crew of about a dozen, when it came right down to it. 
Meet the Parents [Soderbergh's remake of a low-budget first feature by 
Chicagoan Greg Ghana, which is now in development] could easily be 
made with a crew that size. A lot of things like that — operating the 
camera myself, trying to strip it down. I've decided that anybody who's 
not actively involved in what's going on in front of the camera needs 



to be eliminated, that somebody who's just standing there is an ener- 
gy vacuum. 

What kinds of changes did this freedom and flexibility allow you 
to make to the Schizopolis script during production? 

Sometimes you couldn't do what you thought you'd be able to do from 
a practical standpoint. You'd sit around — there'd be the four of us, or 
the five of us, if we were lucky — and say, "Hmm, I just don't think this 
is working." You'd go eat lunch and talk about why it wasn't working. 
And you'd drive around, see another location, and think, "Maybe the 
problem is location." You know, it was all very loose and informal, and 
it was strictly based on, do you feel it at the time? Do you feel like it's 
really happening? If it's not, let's not do it, and let's figure out why. 
Did that create structural changes? 

Sometimes; not major ones. But some of the best things in the film 
resulted from either accidents or problems that were turned into 
advantages. 

One of my favorite scenes is where [Eventualism guru T Azimuth] 
Schwitters is going down the list of people who sent him condolences 
[for an assassination attempt]. In the script it's a scene between him 
and his wife. Well, the actress who played the wife had left town and 
not told anyone [he laughs]. So I said, "Does anybody know a girl in 
her early twenties who we could use to play his assistant?" Somebody 
goes off to make the phone call. In the meantime, I sit down and think, 
"Alright, here's the scene: They're in there, the right-hand man is pac- 
ing, and she's reading out this list." We wrote the list right there. The 
girl showed up, we gave her the note pad, and we shot it. It's one of 
my favorite things in the movie. 

The whole movie was like that. The analogy in sports would be 
when you're in the zone. I just felt in the zone all the time. I just felt 
[snapping his fingers] every decision was the right decision. Things 
just would fall into place, even when mistakes occurred. 
Did Schizopolis come together in a substantial way in the edit- 
ing stage? 

There's a lot of stuff we cut out of it, but I'd say the biggest changes 
were during shooting, just things that would occur to me. We started 
cutting while we were still shooting, so I was able to see if I needed 
things. 

The great thing about it being a movie made by just a handful of 
people with your own equipment was we literally could sit in the edit- 
ing room and say, for instance, "We need a shot of an airplane land- 
ing" and go to the office, get the equipment, and go shoot an airplane. 
So the amount of time between idea and execution was very small. It 
was great. 

Who were the other five people? 

John Hardy, my producer. David Jensen, who's a grip and also an actor; 
he plays Elmo Oxygen; he's worked on all my movies. Paul Ledford, 
who's my production sound mixer, also worked on all my movies. Mike 
Malone, who played Schwitters, was an on-set dresser in The 
Underneath; he was there for a large part of the shoot. And then there 
was usually a sort of rotating fifth person. 

Several of the main themes in Schizopolis were also present in 
sex, lies & videotape, namely the problem of communication 
between couples and the difficulty of marriage. Are these both 
personal films? 

Oh, sure. Schizopolis more so, despite its abstract, surreal quality; it's a 
closer representation of my experience of the difficulties in maintain- 
ing communications in a relationship than sex, lies was. It's all tied in 



34 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



together [with] what I see as the gradual simplification and almost 
destruction of our language. We've gotten lazy with it, and it's used to 
obscure instead of illuminate. So the struggle to keep life meaningful is 
getting more and more difficult. 

Tell me about the scenes in the bathroom, when you're making 
faces in the mirror and masturbating in the stall. What was your 
intent? 

Well, you know, all that is intended to be amusing — the guy's chronic 
masturbation and all that — but what it means to me is not so funny. 
And that is, the culture, in the States especially, is so noisy and so over- 
whelming, and the forces that divide you from other people and from 
your community are so strong. The Me period that everybody went 
through yielded so little. I think the end result of all these things is a 
guy sitting there by himself looking in the mirror like that. This is 
where it's all leading if we're not careful — that specific type of empti- 
ness. 

I'd rather people laugh at it. But a couple of people have 
picked up on that, who said, "That stuff was really funny, 
but at the same time it was really sad." 

That was a one-taker, you know. I just sort of did it. 
I've been hearing a lot of positive word of mouth about 
your acting in Schizopolis. Is this something you would 
like to do again? 

Well, it wasn't acting. Those are just variations on my person- 
ality. It wasn't really a perfor- 
mance, as far as I was con- 
cerned. When there are four or 
five of you, and I'm lighting it 
and setting the shot, I go from 
behind the camera, then I walk 
and sit in the chair in front of 

the camera, and we roll. The whole thing was so fluid that you 
never really thought about it. Which is great! I don't know if I'd 
be that comfortable under the conditions that movies are nor- 
mally made under. I don't really have any desire to find out. 
Could you walk through the stages of financing 
Schizopolis 1 . 

What happened was I called Universal during The Underneath 
and said, "I'm going to make this movie; I don't have a script. 
It's a comedy and it's in color, but that's all I know. I want you to buy 
North American video for 75 grand right now." And they did. 

Then after we finished shooting, I said, "Look, I want to do anoth- 
er film like this, and I also need more money to finish Schizopolis. So for 
the second film, I'll sell you North American video and theatrical for 
$400,000 and you get the two films for $475,000"— always with the 
agreement that I could buy those rights back in order to get a distrib- 
ution deal, which is what we ended up doing. When Fox Lorber came 
in, I used the money that Fox Lorber was paying to buy back the video 
rights for Schizopolis. 

So at the end of the day, Schizopolis will end up costing about $250, 
275,000, and with the remaining money, we'll make the sequel. 

So Universal is handling nothing, and they've been paid back... 

They've been paid back for Schizopolis. They did it as a favor for me. 
Did they take first look for theatrical? 

I think they knew. I told them, "You're not going to want this movie. 
This is just to keep me going." You know, I've had a good experience 
there. I made two movies there that didn't make them any money, and 




I ve decided that anybody who s not 

actively involved in what's going on 

in front of the camera, who's just 

standing there, is an energy vacuum. 



they've left me completely alone and still would like me to make a film 
there. 

Are they asking to see the sequel's script? 

No. For them, this amount of money is infinitesimal. They pay that 
amount for writers to do a couple months of work on a script. 
What else were you doing during the 10 months of off-and-on pro- 
duction? 

Writing scripts for other people, and then, late in Schizopolis, we start- 
ed making Gray's Anatomy. So it was a pretty busy time. 
What other scripts? 

One of them was Nightwatch, a Miramax film. I did some work on 
Mimic, which is shooting [in Toronto] now, although I don't think 
much of my work survived. I just turned in a draft of a script I'm writ- 
ing for Henry Selleck \James and the Giant Peach], so I've been writing 
for hire back to back during the production of both films. 

Do you see this as a way of continuing the new low-budget, 
stripped-down direction you're taking? 

Yeah, because I haven't taken a salary on a movie since I fin- 
ished The Underneath in November of '94, so it's my only 
source of income. But I don't enjoy it, because I don't like 
to write. It's been hard, but it's my only option. I don't 
want to go direct for money, because it's too hard and it's 
a year-and-a-half. And commercials don't interest me. 
In 10 Feet in 10 Days, Marina Zenovich's documentary- 

in-progress about Slam- 
dance, you state: "Inde- 
pendent films are creeping 
towards the mainstream, 
and I feel there needs to be 
another wave of really out- 
rageously independent 
films.... People are not feeling as independent as they 
used to. ..because [they] are thinking they can make 
money. That's what people who make studio movies 
think. It's gotten to the point where people, before 
they're making their films, are wondering, 'Is this the 
kind of film that's going to get into Sundance?' As 
soon as that happens, it's really over. That's not 
what you're supposed to have in your head." 
Do you believe independent film is seriously off-course? 
Maybe parts of it are, but there's always going to be someone who's not. 
I don't worry about interesting films getting made; I worry about how 
they're going to get seen. Because as the stakes get higher and it gets 
more and more expensive to release a movie, the distributors are going 
to be less willing to take a risk. 

That's what I found. It was a frustrating summer, toting Gray's 
Anatomy and Schizopolis around and having everybody say, "I don't 
think we can make this work." We had one company say, "We ran the 
numbers and we decided that we actually could turn a profit with this 
film, but not enough of a profit to make it worth our time." And I 
thought, "Gee, if you can say that about all 12 films you release this 
year, that's a good year." 

It was interesting both on Schizopolis and Gray's to reimmerse myself 
in an area I hadn't been in since sex, lies, which is the "We've made a 
film, now what do we do with it?" arena. It's changed. Yeah, getting the 
movie made is only half of it. 

Patricia Thomson is editor-in-chief of The Independent. 




April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



Seeing Double 

1 II IJ UXI |j 111006 

The Strategies behind Moek Docs 



T, 



HIS PAST FALL THE MARGARET 
Mead Film Festival marked two historic 
occasions: the 20th anniversary of the 
documentary festival, and the introduc- 
tion of a special sidebar featuring docu- 
mentary parodies, fake documentaries, 
and invented biographies and autobi- 
ographies. Originally dedicated to films 
and videos that explore cultural tradi- 
tions and diasporas, crosscultural con- 
flicts, and human rights issues, the 
Mead festival now also celebrates a sub- 
versive subgenre that has blossomed of 
late and challenges the basic notion of 
documentary-as-truth. 

"This kind of genre seems to be flourishing cross-culturally as 
mediamakers internationally are beginning to experiment with these 
blurred genres," notes Elaine Charnov, organizer of the festival. 
"Because it was the twentieth anniversary, I wanted to program work 
that would be reflexive about the documentary film. This genre is one 

of the more 
spirited ways to 
look at how we 
come to under- 
stand this thing 
called 'reality.' " 
These tilms are 
the latest in a 
genre with a 
long history. As 
pointed out by anthropology professor Faye Ginsburg during the festi- 
val's symposium "Sometimes You Have to Lie to Tell the Truth," one 
can trace this genre all the way back to the recreations of Robert 
Flaherty (who said the symposium's title when asked about the staged 
scenes in Nanook of the North) and Edward Curtis's In the Land of the 
Headhunters. 

Some precedents were resurrected at the Mead festival. There was 
Jim McBride's 1973 classic David Holzman's Diary, a mock verite diary 
that covers a few days in the life of an earnest young filmmaker whose 
girlfriend has just left him because of his incessant filming. Unlike doc- 
umentary parodies, it never gives the audience any clue about its "fak- 
eness." At the time of its release, David Holzman's Diary was a response 
to the pitfalls of cinema verite. "There was this false glee that if you 
pointed a camera at anything, the truth would come out," says 
McBride. "I became interested in this myth, because filmmakers seri- 
ously alter the realities they are capturing. For me, the film is really an 
aesthetic version of the Heisenberg Principle." 

Also in the line-up was the late Peter Adair's Some of These Stories 




Marlon Fuentes's fake yet profound narrative, Bontoc Eulogy, follows 

his Filipino grandfather, one of the 1,100 tribal natives displayed as 

anthropological specimens at the 1904 World's Fair. 

Courtesy American Museum of Natural History 




Are True (1981). Shot in the talking- 
heads style used by many oral history 
documentaries during the seventies and 
eighties, Adair's film includes long 
anecdotes from five people about signif- 
icant moments in their lives. As the title 
indicates, some of their stories are true; 
some are not. In the process of viewing, 
the audience must decide how impor- 
tant veracity is to them; does it change 
how they feel about the tale or the 
teller? 

As symposium moderator Jay Ruby 
noted, such films "try to disabuse audi- 
ences of the idea that all images are 
true; they remind us that images are 
constructed." He stressed that this tra- 
dition is really as old as any prototype of electronic media and that 
these films play on "the need to believe" that audiences demonstrate 
in seemingly irrational ways. 

In efforts to rewrite history or oppose a history of domination, a few 
provocative films featured at the festival employed what filmmaker 
Marlon Fuerites calls a "dichotic" viewing style — employing irony and 
parody to emphasize the artificial and constructed nature of filmmak- 
ing, so the audience's attention shifts back and forth between the nar- 
rative and the process of storytelling. The most blatant cases disasso- 
ciate themselves completely from the concept of an essential truth. 
Their real interests revolve around issues of construction and purpose, 
the process of filmmaking, and the mixing of techniques. Specifically, 
Maron Fuentes's Bontoc Eulogy, Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury's Halving the 
Bones, and Shashwati Talukdar's My Life as a Poster have a parallel 
interest in addressing the Western gaze. They are successful because 
the films' structures are premised on the model of personal storytelling 
and the use of an extreme subjectivity. The personal nature of these 
films allows the filmmakers to tell the story' the way they see it. 



I 



.n Halving the Bones, Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury's strategy is to 
create an illusion that makes the audience complicit in a fantasy about 
family history and cultural confusion. Lounsbury tells the story of 
inheriting her Japanese grandmother's bones. As the filmmaker gets 
ready to deliver the bones to her mother, Lounsbury relates her grand- 
mother's history, told with the help of home movies of the young 
Japanese bride in Hawaii. But these home movies are all faked. "My 
cameraman, Jim Healy, pretended to be my grandfather lurking in the 
palms with a new camera and a brand new wife. And my grandmoth- 
er in the diaphanous dress is in fact me," the director says. (Healy had 
shot the Calvin Klein ads of Kate Moss and Christy Turlington in 



36 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 




rt.m I 



Double 



lllUUU 

by Erika Muhammad 



diaphanous underwear, to which this black-and- 
white footage bears some resemblance.) 
Lounsbury tweaked the color and popped the 
soundtrack to make the film appear more "real." 
But at the same time, she gave them French titles 
that subtly reveal their faux texture. 

"I took enormous poetic license with the grand- 
father's home movies," she recalls. "At the end of 
the scene, I use a little rock music, which is really 
pushing the concept of archival footage. This 
whole scene of my grandfather's home movies 
feels very contemporary, but at the same time 
you're buying it as being authentic." At least, most 
people do. "My mom said that my 
grandmother would never have run 
around in underwear like that," she 
notes with a laugh. But even aside 
from that, the filmmaker felt she had 
left enough clues to tip off a knowing 
audience. Instead, what she discov- 
ered is that when you include enough 
gratuitous detail, people actually start 
buying your story. "The French titling 
sequence is what actually convinces a 
lot of people that the film is real. I did- 
n't expect that at all." 

Lounsbury also fakes various 
voiceovers, such as the Japanese - 
accented narrator who introduces the 
"Ruth" character. (Though a personal 
documentary, Lounsbury thinks of 
herself as a character in the film, and 
distinguishes between her screen pres- 
ence and herself.) A quarter of the way 
into the film, Lounsbury confesses to 
her audience that much of the materi- 
al is made up: the home movies, the accented voice-over (it's 
Lounsbury), even her grandmother's diary. She is no longer a reliable 
narrator. It's a daring confession, for she risks alienating her audience. 
The director is quick to say that she is not out to manipulate specta- 
tors. "It's an inclusive, not an exclusive act," she explains. "You have 
to constantly treat the audience as your best friend. You are going to 
play a trick on them because you love them so much." 

More important, she wants them to take part in her fantasy about 
her grandmother. A native of Connecticut, Lounsbury admits she grew 
up exoticizing her Japanese relatives. "So in the first twenty minutes, I 
create a world of my subjective fantasy, but in a way the audience has 
to experience and believe it with me. They're complicit in a cultural 
confusion. 




When telling the story of inheriting her 
Japanese grandmother's bones in Halving 
the Bones, Ruth Ozeki Lounsbury makes the 
audience complicit in her cultural confusion. 

Courtesy filmmaker 



"Here in North America, most 
of us come from other places," 
she comments. "This was not 
something unique in my case; 
this was something I felt an audi- 
ence could understand. I'm half. 
My mother is Japanese and my 
father is an anthropologist, so the 
issue of recollection is built into 
my genetic code. I'm used to 
examining myself. In fact, I think 
I practice ethnography on myself, 
so the voyeurism is actually inter- 
nalized. What I tried to do is use 
the metaphor of half, of fractured 
history, to talk about what I think 
is at the core of fake documentary, which is the use of various 
types of consciousness splitting and fracturing to create a larger 
type of truth." 

The shifting subjectivities of Halving the Bones are also reflect- 
ed in the various narrators. There's the Japanese voiceover, 
then Lounsbury takes over and starts talking about her grand- 
mother. Then her mother comes in and talks about Lounsbury 
and the grandmother. It's the first time in the film someone 
speaks directly to the camera in sync sound. "Mom saves the 
day," Lounsbury says. "This is where the 'real' documentary 
starts." But it's no more valid than the recreated parts. "There 
are lots of points of view shifting throughout the film. I'm prob- 
ably in violation of every cinematic rule in the book, but what 
I'm doing is insisting on the fundamental subjectivity of the 
world I'm trying to create." 



A 



"fake" narrative about the filmmaker's attempt 
to learn about the history of his Filipino grandfather, Marlon Fuentes's 
Bontoc Eulogy offers a postmodern critique of colonialism. Bontoc Eulog, 
(which is included in the upcoming ITVS series American Independents, 
on air this month and next) unfolds through the perspective of two 
characters: the narrator, a Filipino immigrant, and his grandfather, 
Markod, an Igrot warrior on display at the St. Louis World's Fair of 
1904- The film traces the grandfather's tribal days in the Philippines; 
how he and his peers were convinced to come to America and rebuild 
their village as a way of educating others about their lives; and the rude 
awakening in St. Louis, where they're virtually held captive with 1,100 
tribal natives displayed as anthropological specimens at the World's 
Fair. 

Using all his resources as a researcher to track down traces of this 
past, the filmmaker comes up with a variety of archival stills and movie 



April 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



fragments that he stitches together to form the narrative chronology. 
Bontoc Eulogy includes actual footage of the 1904 World's Fair from the 
Human Studies Film Archive at the Smithsonian, historical faked 
footage of the Phillipine -American war, 1898 newsreels, reconstructed 
sound based on turn of the century original Bontoc orchestrations, and 
stock wildlife sound, in addition to the contemporary material. 

In telling his grandfather's story, Fuentes' recreation incorporates 
older recreations, sometimes crosscutting between real and faked 
footage. When the narrator talks about the Battle of Manila Bay in 
1898, we see footage shown at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair that was 
a recreation using miniature ships in a bathtub. 
Like Lounsbury, Fuentes tried to leave the W* 
audience clues about all the levels of fakery. "I 
thought about whether I should slow down the 
film [to 18 fps], so it looks like real boats or if I 
should leave the footage as is at [24 fps], which 
allows a certain kind of tension about whether 
this is a recreation or not. I decided to use the 
speeded up version as a form of intervention, 
to try to illustrate the scene of filmmaking 
itself." 

Similarly, the name of his "grandfather" is a 
clue to his emblematic status. "The way in 
which the story is told uses a fictional, cine- 
matic conceit of the myth of the grandfather," 
Fuentes explains. "However, the presentation 
of the myth of the grandfather has a certain 
kind of system. In Bontoc literature, 'Markod' 
is a mythical narrator who vali- 
dates any type of storyteller. 
Markod is also the name of the 
grandfather and the mythical 
narrator in the film." 

Fuentes' act of naming fuses 
history, memory, and imagina- 
tion. Formally, Fuentes main- 
tains what he refers to as 

"dichotic listening," created by the oscillation between a) the historical 
investment of the argument and the formal construction of the film; 
and b) the possibility of a cinematic conceit. "Here, I wanted to inject 
something else: not just the reflection of the filmmaker, but his ner- 
vousness in making the piece," he says. "I'm trying to create a 
Frankenstein. And I want to let the seams show. But that doesn't lessen 
his power. 

"My film is all about framing," he continues. "Your reading distance 
will determine if you feel duped." Instead of interpreting Bontoc Eulogy 
as a fake construction, it's perhaps more useful to consider the film as 
a text that sets its stakes in seldom- explored territories of imagination. 
Simultaneously autobiography, detective story, and a meditation on 
cultural abduction and social voyeurism, it is a unique simulacra of 
"historical" cinema. 



Hie Tliiril World speaker is seen as expert on themselves 



S, 



HASHWATI TALUKDAR'S 1995 VIDEO MY LlFE AS A POSTER BLENDS 
parody with fake autobiography as it explores stereotypical notions 
about Indian culture, the marginalizing aspects of identity politics, and 



the First World's expectations of Third World filmmakers. 

This work, which is featured in the Whitney Museum's Biennial 
Exhibition (held through June 1 ) , tells the fictional story of the film- 
maker's sister's death in India and her family's subsequent move to the 
U.S. While the narrator talks about her family members in voiceover, 
the film pans across an old Indian movie posters of well-known melo- 
dramatic actors, cutting to close-ups of the illustration when various 
family members are named. 

"The film was really a reaction and response to personal documen- 
tary, a form that has been useful in bringing out stories that have been 

suppressed, ignor- 
ed, or simply eras- 
ed," explains Tal- 
ukdar. The pro- 
blem for her and 
other filmmakers 
categorized as 

Third World is that 
they find them- 
selves restrained in 
the types of stories 
they are expected 
to tell. "The speak- 
er is seen as expert 
on themselves and 
nothing else," she 
says. M;y Life as a 
Poster tackles issues 
of misrepresenta- 
tion when film- 
makers examine those unlike 
themselves but are exhorted to 
tell personal stories in an effort 
to "give voice" to their culture. 
Talukdar's Mji Life as a Poster 
challenges that through its 
parody of personal documen- 
tary. Using the film posters, Talukdar comments on the notion of iden- 
tity and the power of visual icons. Through the use of irony, the film 
reveals this notion and its inscription in visual culture as unnatural 
and undesirable. For example, her representation of her father is a par- 
ody of the repressive, old-world Indian patriarch. He is described as a 
warden who preserves tigers and strides about with his gun. 

Talukdar stresses, "There are obvious false constructions in the film, 
but I reveal this conceit with conscious slippage. It's a fake parody, and 
I try to say that. I don't try to dupe the audience. I really want to take 
the audience along with me." 

The obvious slippages present in the aforementioned films under- 
mine the authority of the images on screen. Audiences who accept the 
challenge realize that a larger truth is being commented upon — a truth 
about cultural displacement, erosion, and recovery. Lounsbury, 
Fuentes, and Talukdar open up the process of filmmaking to remind 
audiences that the formation of identity in their films is a construc- 
tion — not an unmitigated reality. 

Erika Muliammad is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Cinema Studies at 
Neil' York University and an independent film/video curator. 




38 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 





"Script writing has never been faster or easier!" 




Why is Scriptware the only 
scriptwriting program to get a 
complete 4-star review in the Journal (of 
the Writer's Guild of America, July 1996)? 
And, what makes Scriptware the best- 
selling scriptwriting program among pro- 
fessional and aspiring script writers? 

Simple. Scriptware is the fastest, 
easiest way to get the story that's in 
your head onto the page in the format 
that Hollywood demands. 

With Scriptware, all you need are 
your pinkies and the Tab and 
Enter keys to create a perfectly formatted script. You just write and 
Scriptware does the rest, automatically. Type character names and 
scene headings with just one keystroke. Scriptware does the margin 
changes, spacing changes and capitalizing for you! Don't worry about 
page breaks and "more's" and "continued's". Scriptware handles page 
breaks perfectly, as you write! 

Get all the power you need! Write every kind of 
script-film, TV, sitcom, A/V and more. Use our 
industry-standard formats or create your own. Script- 
ware comes with a 120,00+ word spell check and the- 
saurus. Make title pages in seconds. Import scripts 
you've already written. Track revisions, add electronic 
notes to your script, rearrange scenes like they're on 
index cards... and much, much more! 



Kathy Muraviov, Script Services Supervisor, Universal Studios 

Take a vacation with the time you'll save. Scriptware users say they're 
getting scripts done twice as fast as they used to. What's your time 
worth? Scriptware can pay for itself with your very first script! 

Order today and get Scriptware for a special low price. Or take our 
FREE demo for a spin. 

FREE BONUS! Scriptware formats like the pros, but how do you know 
what to write? How to write a montage? When to use transitions or 
numbering? What's dual-dialogue? Order now and you'll get, absolutely 
free, Scriptwriting Secrets, Writing Your Million Dollar Story. You could 
pay a consultant hundreds of dollars for this information, but we'll send it 
to you free if you order within the next 14 days. Don't wonder if you're 
doing it right, with Scriptware and Scriptwriting Secrets, you are! 

Visit our new web site at http://scriptware.com 
TRY IT RISK FREE! 30-Day Money-Back GuaranteeI 
Scriptware Win - $ 299 95 D0S- $ 179 95 Demo 
CALL TOLL-FREE 800-788-7090! 



Scriptware requires: 100% IBM compatible computer. DOS • 80386 or better. 640K RAM, 

2M HD space, DOS 2. 1 or higher -Windows - 80486 or better, 2M RAM, 4M HD space 

@ 1997 Cinovauon, Inc. 1750 30th St., Suite 360, Boulder, CO 80303 303-786-7899 



□ Send me Scriptware-DOS for only $179.95 (pius$9s/h*) 

□ Send me Scriptware for Windows for only $299.95 (plus $9 s/h*) 

□ Send me your Demo Disk fnrrnilj tunriiiiiiniirnn in freei 

□ Payment enclosed. Bill my: □ Visa □ NIC □ Amex □ Discover 

Name 



Address 



City/State/Zip _ 
Phone number . 
Card # 




*CO residents add sales tax. Foreign s/h extra. 



. exp. . 



MAIL OR FAX TO: 

Cinovation, Inc.* 
1750 30th Street, Suite 360 
Boulder, CO 80301 
FAX (303) 786-9292 397 




LOGfflON, LOGfflON, LOOfflON 

Location scouting isn't just about finding a 

place that looks right. Unless you know what 

to check for, your dream spot may turn out to 

he a logistical nightmare 



by Chris Chomyn 




electing 



the right location 
for a film can be as 
critical as casting 
the right actor or 
hiring the right 
c i n e m a t o g r a p h e r . 
But anyone scouting 
locations needs to 
consider much more 
than what a place 
looks like. It has 
to be usable. 

In the world of low-budget filmmaking, 
there's not always time for department heads 
to do a technical scout — that pilgrimage taken 
to analyze the logistics of shooting in a location 
that looked perfect in the photographs. This 
task often falls to the location scout. His or her 
job is not only to determine whether a location 
will satisfy the director's requirements, but also 
to ascertain whether it will be satisfactory for 
production, transportation, camera, grip/elec- 
trical, and sound. If it's not, then it doesn't 
serve the director's needs either. 

What are the keys to proper location scout- 
ing? The first is obvious: find the location that 







. r _ss and camera are a few 
filmmaking arsenal when scouting for the right location I 
Photo: Patricia Thomson Efl 



matches the description and fulfills the needs 
as described in the shooting script as closely as 
possible. The second is: find alternate loca- 
tions. 

Once done, there are reams of additional 
details to assess that will prove invaluable to 
the production. A few tools are essential tor 
this purpose: a script breakdown (including 
descriptions of each location and the action to 
take place), a notebook, a pencil, a compass, a 
watch, a 35mm still camera and film, measur- 
ing tape, and local maps. A cell phone and 
pager are also extremely useful. The following 
checklist should provide a good starting point 
tor the conscientious location scout. 



Production 



Production is the department responsible for 
allocating the budget and managing the daily 
business of a film. Their concerns relate to 
economy and efficiency while delivering quali- 
ty. They will want to know: 



1. How much is the location per day and per 
week? 

2. Is there a reduced tee tor prep and wrap 
days? 

3. Is the location available tor the anticipat- 
ed dates? 

4- Is it available at other times in case the 
schedule changes? 

5. Is it necessary to hire a private security 7 
company? 

6. What are the town's restrictions regarding 
filming? 

7. Do you need a permit? How much is it? 

8. Are police and fire inspectors required? 
Under what conditions? At what expense? 

9. Will neighbors be cooperative? 

10. Will other companies film in the area at 
the same time? 

11. What are the local traffic patterns? Are 
special parking permits required? 

12. Where will craft services set up? Where 
will the caterer set up? 



40 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



Transportation 

Transportation is the department responsible 
for moving and securing all vehicles associated 
with production. They need to know that the 
roads will provide access to their trucks. If not, 
it may be necessary to establish a "base of oper- 
ations" and shuttle the cast, crew, and equip- 
ment to the location using smaller vehicles. 
Transportation will want to know: 

1. Do access roads have weight restrictions? 

2. Are there alternate routes available? 

3. Are roads wide enough for their vehicles? 
4- Is there enough overhead clearance? 

5. Is adequate parking available? 

6. Once the vehicles are in place, will they have 
to be moved to accommodate shooting plans 
(like exterior reverse angles)? Where? How 
long will it take? 



Camera 

The cinematographer is mainly concerned with 
angles and light. It is critical to photograph 
thoroughly the exterior and interior of each 
location. That means shooting 360- degree 
panoramas, so the cinematographer can know 
in advance what he or she has to contend with. 
The cinematographer will want to know: 

1. Compass orientation of each view (N, S, E, 
orW). 

2. On what date and at what time each scout- 
ing photo was taken. 

3. How large is the space being photographed? 
(Use known objects or people to give scale.) 

4. The focal length of the lens used for the 
scouting photos. 

5. What are the room dimensions? Ceiling 
height? ("Top view" diagrams are very helpful.) 

6. Compass orientation of each room. 

7. Where are the windows? How large are they? 
Which way do they face? 

8. On distant locations, what are the normal 
weather conditions for the scheduled shoot 
dates? 

9. Anticipated time of sunrise, sunset? 



Grip/Electrical 

The grips are in charge of set operations, rig- 
ging, and safety on the set. They will want to 
park the grip truck as close to the location as 
possible, within the requirements of the pro- 
duction and local ordinances. They will be 
moving a variety of large and heavy pieces of 
equipment, and cooperation from locations is 
essential to keep the company moving efficient- 



Digital Betacam, Avid 
MC 8000s PCI AVRs ls- 
75, Film Composers, 
Betacam SP, 3/4 U-Matic 
SP. S-VHS, Hi-8, Magni 
Waveform /Vector scope, 



post 

391 



Avid I HIRE 



Mackie mixers, Genelec 

Audio Monitors, etc... 



2 72.843.0840 

No. 200 Varick St. Room 501 NYC 10014 




Onune\Offune Suites 

Post Production Support 

Digital Betacam 

Editorial 



L3onjour! Monsieur Thomas Edison at your service. 

Death has not slowed me down. I've recently discovered 

that Hots Shots Cool Cuts has the most fantastique 

International location footage. From Tokyo to Timbuktu 

over 100 hrs. of landmarks, aerials, cityscapes, & culture. 

Around zee world, they've got it all. I heartily recommend 

Hot Shots Cool Cuts for all your international footage needs. 

Vive la stock cinematique internationale!!! 

■■"■■'■■■■ 

■:■■■ ,"■■ ■ ..■ ■ ■ ■ ■■:■ ■ . ■ ■ ■ ■■ ■ .■,■■■■ :■:.■.. \ ■ ■.::■- % Mi 

. ■ ■■ ■■■■ .: ..■:■■ :■:■■.■■ . ' .:..■. ■ '. ' ?■ .,■."■. /. . .. . 




m 



1ERNATIONAL 



CONTEMP©RARY 
' ARCHIVAL 

PHONE: (212) 799-9100 > 
FAkt (212)799-9258 

The stock footage company whose stock footage doesn't look like stock footage 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 41 



HUMS 



MEDIA lOO 

Non-Linear Editing 
Betocam SP 



62 White Street - NY NY 10013 - TRIBECA - best neighborhood 

great rates - creative atmosphere 

212-334-3943 



diver* si t^ 



By independents. 




vision. 



For independents, 

P/Ctur*s 



Diversity of experience and culture. We're a multicultural house & our work reflects this. 
Creative young staff with REAL credits. HBO, MTV, FOX, CBS, PBS. Check our reel; 
Film/video long form documentary and narrative, music video, promos and spots. 



Introducing the StrataSphere 

Digital & component in/out Abekas digital keyer CMX 3600 EDL support 
Alpha channel w/each layer of video 50 layers of video for compositing / DVE 
Abekas DVEOUS online digital effects, real time, better than Kscope 
Networked to graphics station w/ Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and 3D 



Dvision/Avid for long format film/video 
NT/Perception for animation 
BCSP Broadcast & 16/Super 16mm pkgs. 



INTRODUCTORY RATES/DISCOUNTS FOR INDEPENDENTS AND STUDENTS 



138 E. 26th St. NYC 212-481-3393 (voice) 481-9899 (fax) 




212.343.1850 

OPEN CITY 

EDIT 



Affordable Avid off-line Editing 
36 gigabytes of storage 
Beautiful Soho location 
Skylight and bucolic court yard 



OPEN CITY FILMS, INC. 

198 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013 



ly. The grips will want to know: 

1. How close will their truck be parked? 

2. How wide are the various doorways? 

3. How high are the ceilings? 

4. What are the room dimensions? 

5. What are the floors made of in each room? 
Wood? Tile? Stone? Carpet? 

6. What are the walls made of? Concrete? 
Sheet Rock? Wood? 

7. Where is their designated staging area? 

8. Are there any trees or other obstacles 
around the exterior of the location? 



It's unlikely 

that every 

location will 

be perfect for 

everyone. 



The electricians are responsible for operat- 
ing the production generator, cabling the loca- 
tion for electricity, and operating the lights the 
cinematographer calls for. The electricians will 
want to know: 

1. How close will their truck be parked? (If 
they have their own truck, they will want to 
park it as close as possible. Often they share a 
truck with the grips.) 

2. Where is the closest secure and level plat- 
form on which to park their generator? 

3. What are the dimensions of the exterior 
property and the interior rooms — both those 
used as a location and those that provide 
access? 

4. What is the best cable access to the loca- 
tion? How far is it from the generator? 

5. Once inside, what will be the best cable 
route? (The shorter the better — as long as it's 
out of camera shot.) 

6. Where are the doors and windows? 

7. Will the cable have to cross any public thor- 
oughfares (walkways, driveways, roads) ? 

8. If using house power, where are the circuit 
breakers? Is access restricted? It so, who has 
the key and how do we contact him or her? 

9. Is there roof access? 

10. If the need arises, is there access to adjoin- 
ing properties? 

11. At night, where can we park a condor (a 
hydraulic lift tor lights) ? 



42 THE INDEPENDENT April 1 997 



Sound 



The sound department is the most overlooked 
department on any set. It is the sound mixer's 
job to record clean sound in a world full of 
noise. He must work as unobtrusively as possi- 
ble, weaving in and out of the camera and light- 
ing crew. He is not given his own time to set 
up, yet must be poised and ready to go when 
the director calls action. The sound mixer will 
want to know: 

1. If there are any major roads or highways 
nearby? 

2. Is there an airport nearby, or is the location 
in the flight path of an airport? 

3. Are there any electrical transformers, power 
plants, or heavy machinery operating nearby? 
4- Is there any local construction? 

5. What are the ambient sounds? Is one time of 
day more noisy than another? 

6. Is there a school or a playground nearby? 

7. What are the room dimensions of the loca- 
tion? 

8. What are the materials used in construction? 

9. Stop and listen: does the space have an 
echo? Reverberation? Rattling pipes? Noisy 
ventilation system? Loud refrigerator? Do the 
floors creak? 

10. Where will the electricians put their gener- 
ator? Will it be too close for sound? 

Ideally, the head of each department would 
be able to scout every location to weigh the 
pros and cons of each before making the ulti- 
mate decision. In the real world, this is usually 
not possible or practical and so the responsibil- 
ity falls to you, the location manager. 

Find the best location, understand the logis- 
tics as they pertain to each department, consid- 
er all the variables, and make the best selection. 
It's unlikely that every location will be perfect 
for everyone. All you can hope for is that each 
location serves the film in the best way possible. 
The best way to do that is to follow the scout's 
motto: Be Prepared. 

One final note: Every film serves as an emis- 
sary for future productions, so protect the loca- 
tion from unnecessary damage and take care to 
restore and clean each location before you 
leave. It will make it easier for the rest of us. 

Chris Chomyn, a cinematographer for nine years, is 

currently producing and shooting the independent feature 

Joe Joe Angel & the Dead Guy. 



THE 




A non-profit media arts organi- 
zation providing access to state- 
of-the-art video post-production 
services for artists and indepen- 
dent producers at drastically 
discounted rates. ————____ 
Standby also publishes FELIX, 
A Journal of Media Arts and 
Communication. 



• Betacam, 1 " or D-2 On-line editing 

• Non-linear editing 

• Audio post-production 

• Mass duplication 

• Standards conversions 

• CDR Burns 

Contact us for other services, 
prices and membership information. 



PO Box 184, New York, MY 10012 
http://www.felixweb.org 
Email: standby@felix.org 
Phone: (212)219-0951 
Fax: (212)219-0563 



&£eie/i& 




non-linear editing to betacam-sp 

component interformat studio: 

betacam-sp,3/4",hi-8,s-vhs 

3d animation/graphics/cg 

digital audio recording 

dat recording 

digital effects switcher 

$1500/week with editor 
18 gigabyte hd 

Independent Post Production 
in the East Village 

Call for class brochures 
east third street new york city 

212.254.1106 




INC. (212)594-7530 



WE ON-LINE FROM ANY NON-LINEAR OFF-LINE EDIT 

(AVID, MEDIA 100, D-VISION) 
FASTER, CHEAPER AND BETTER THAN THEY CAN. 



POST PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Betacam SP on-line w/ DFS500 digital FX audio mix $95.00 

Beta-Beta (2 machine) $75.00 Hi8--Beta $75.00 

3/4 - 3/4 $60.00 HI8-3/4 $60.00 

3/4-3/4 self edit $40.00 VHS-VHS self edit $10.00 

Amiga character generator in session (in addition to edit) $25.00 

Love and understanding are on the house 



TIMECODE SERVICES 

ALL TIMECODE BURN-IN'S ARE ONLY $35/HR. 
WE TIMECODE YOUR HI8 TAPES 

Dupes to Betacam SP $45/hr Dupes to 3/4 

Dupes to VHS $10/hr (includes tape) 

HI8-Betacam SP w/VHS time code window 

We are very precise and very nice 



.$25/hr 
.$50/hr 



PRODUCTION SERVICES 

Betacam SP package $650.00 

Pro HI8 E.N.G. package $250.00 



NOT JUST TECHNOLOGY, iDEASf 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




by Jeff Rabh an 

AS A MUSIC SUPERVISOR, I AM OFTEN ON THE 
receiving end of the following call: "We made 
our film for (insert insanely small amount here) 
although it looks like a (insert oversized price 
here) . It's in the can and we are ready to go to 
festivals. We were hoping that you could help 
us get a soundtrack deal for the project..." 

This is a good example of bad timing. As 
experienced filmmakers know, if you want a 
great soundtrack, you need to begin thinking 
about music at the diaper stage of your film. In 
fact, you should be humming a few bars as you 
type the first draft. Similarly, you need to start 
approaching record companies once you have 
completed a draft that you feel is close to rep- 
resenting a final shooting script. 

After the release of soundtracks from The 
Big Chill and the TV show The Wonder Years in 
the early 1980s, we witnessed an explosion of 
soundtracks due to the tremendous marketing 
benefit that studios and record companies have 
experienced (not to mention record sales in 
the millions). Now it is rare to find a direc- 
tor/producer who doesn't expect a soundtrack 
release to coincide with their film, whether 
their film is music intensive or not. Are sound- 
tracks lucrative? They can be. But your odds 
are better in Las Vegas. Hip-hop soundtracks 
show relatively stronger sales figures, but over- 
all soundtracks tend to fail. And those same 
producers/directors who see dollar signs 
instead of creative tie-ins have made record 
labels extremely cautious. The price of acquir- 
ing soundtracks has skyrocketed. Atlantic 
spent over $2 million on Batman, Elektra over 
$1.5 million on Set It Off. It is exactly these 
deals that will make it more difficult for you. 

Feeling lucky? 

Mercury Records' Allison Hamamura, who 
helped create the soundtrack for Jim McKay's 
Girls Town, believes that soundtracks are the 
most difficult type of release to market success- 
fully. "Major labels have the problem of spread- 



1HE DO-RE-MIs OF 
S0UND1MCK DEALS 




ing themselves too thin too often," she says. 
"Generally, we release approximately 20 to 30 
records per month, and a soundtrack is not 
treated any differently in most cases. It the 
majority of staffers haven't seen the movie, it is 
next to impossible to cheerlead for a sound- 
track when they already have a dozen or more 
other records on their plate to deal with. 
Unless the label has an experienced sound- 
track executive in control, many shy away from 
big-budget deals." 

This is because many record companies 
have been burned. Smart money says that 
when a film tails at the box office, the record is 
soon to follow. Most recently, Atlantic Records 
spent over $1 million on the Escape From LA 



Filmmakers can gain an edge by knowing which 
record companies handle what kinds of music. 
The hip-hop soundtrack for Girls Town found a 
home at Mercury; Angel released the folksy, blue- 
grass sound of Brother's Keeper. Capitol shared 
its alternative groups with Trainspotting; and the 
Oscar-nominated Mandela hooked up with Island 
for its South African soundtrack. 



soundtrack only to see the film unable to 
generate the box office grosses they counted 
on. No soundtracks are currently in produc- 
tion at Atlantic. Last year, Elektra Records 
disbanded their soundtrack division when it 
was time to cut budgets. While attempting to 
tap into the Zeitgeist of films like Beautiful 
Girls, the records were unable to stand on 
their own. My informal L. A. area survey sup- 
ports the notion that when the film leaves 
the theater, record sales freeze. One employ- 
ee at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard 
noted that the soundtracks that continue to 
sell are good records in their own right, with 
or without the him, calling up the likes of 
Fo7Test Gump and Trairispotting. Otherwise, 



44 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



soundtracks have the highest rate of return 
(i.e., retailers returning unsold records to dis- 
tributors) in the business. 

But there is an upside to this scenario. 
Although labels have shied away from huge- 
budget records, they all are still very interest- 
ed in being in the soundtrack business. 

The Basics 

There are essentially two types of sound- 
tracks: the Original Motion Picture 
Soundtrack and Original Score to 
the Motion Picture. The difference 
is simply this: The soundtrack is 
comprised of "source cues" — actu- 
al songs in the film, either licensed 
^^^^^^J or original (e.g., R.E.M.'s "Losing 
^^^^^^B My Religion" or a new song written 
^^^^^^« by The Cranberries specifically for 
■ a film). It sometimes includes a 
I piece of "score" (music your hired 

" Record labels are like car 
dealerships; each has 
different products, 
reputations, and deals, 
smarter or pushier sales- 
people, but most impor- 
tantly, different warranties. 
You need to shop around. 

composer wrote for a scene, usual- 
ly an instrumental piece) as the 
last track. On a score soundtrack, 
the album will feature only the 
original pieces of music written specifically 
for the film by the composer. It has become 
increasingly common to find soundtrack 
with the title "Music Inspired by the Film," 
which is the controversial practice of creat- 
ing soundtracks with new songs by well- 
known bands for the record, but which don't 
appear in the film. 

When it comes to striking a soundtrack 
deal, you must educate yourself as to the 
strengths and weaknesses of specific labels. 
There are several labels that are quite expe- 
rienced in the marketing of score albums. 
Therefore, why go elsewhere? If you are look- 
ing to license pre-existing tracks for your 




soundtrack and six out of 10 artists can be 
found on the same label, then that's where 
you'll start. If you want all original music 
recorded for your film by new bands, then you'll 
need to approach a wide variety of labels to 
determine where your best situation can be 
found. Remember, labels are like car dealer- 
ships; each has different products, reputations, 
and deals, smarter or pushier salespeople, but 
most importantly, different warranties. You 
need to shop around. 

Strategy 

Believe it or not, low-budget films like yours 
have a distinct advantage. The massive budgets 
of studio film soundtracks (not to mention the 
over-saturation of the market) have compro- 
mised creative integrity in exchange for mar- 
keting tie-ins. When a lot of money is at stake, 
bands that don't meet your creative vision are 
pushed into the film. McDonalds wants to use 
a particular band for 
their TV commercial 
linked to the film. The 
list goes on. 
You are not in that 
position. This is not to 
say that you will have 
complete creative con- 
trol; making a record 
for a film requires give 
and take by both par- 
ties. However, this 
advantage, coupled 
with the prominence 
independent film has 
achieved over the past 
five years, makes your 
position stronger than 
you might think. 
So, assess your goals for both the film and 
the record. Are you looking for a studio pick- 
up? Independent distribution? Festivals only? 
Who is the audience? What type of music best 
suits the film and them? Make a simple check- 
list that objectively categorizes the demograph- 
ics of your film. Once this task is accomplished, 
you have successfully increased your chances of 
getting a soundtrack deal, because now you can 
talk intelligently about your film and why it 
would be of interest to record labels. The same 
quality that labels look for in musicians holds 
true to filmmakers: creative, vision-oriented 
individuals who are smart enough to know the 
business as well. 



Reality check 

Not to make it sound too easy.... You're com- 
peting with every independent film du jour as 



Finding Stock Footage 



that looks about ten million 
times better than what it costs 




Video Viewing 

1/2 & 3/4 Video Editing 

Video Cassette Duplication 

Film to Tape Transfers 

Slides to Tape Transfers 

16mm Projector Rental 

S-8 Processing 



Machine Cleaned, Optically Tested, & 

GUARANTEED FOR MASTERING 

3/4' Used Video Cassettes 

NEW, MAJOR BRAND VIDEO CASSETTES 
AT DISCOUNT PRICES 



RAFIK 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 45 



Barbara Parks Peter Levin 



SPLASH STUDIOS 



Digital Audio Post-production 
for Film & Video 

168 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 
Tel: 212 271-8747 Fax: 212 271-8748 




HIGH If 

Graphics & Animation 
for Feature Films, TV, Print 

HIGH SPEED 

Renderin< 





HAR 



MONIC 
N C H 






rave 



NON-LINEAR EDITING FOR 

FILM • VIDEO * MULTIMEDIA 

SOUND DESIGN * SYNCING * MIXING 



PR0T00LS 



EXTENSIVE SAMPLING + SOUND UBRARY 
BETA SP ACQUISITION + LOCKUP 
CROSS PLATFORM MULTIMEDIA ♦ WEB AUTHORING 



SoHo TELE -: FAM 212:925:7759 

brave@ingress.com 






- - 



4 



Mandela, directed by Jo Menell (left), benefited from compa- 
ny synergy, with Island Pictures handling its theatrical 
release and Island Records its soundtrack. Courtesy Island 

well as big-budget studio releases that hog 
recording label's available funds. Even if you 
have a decent distributor lined up, searching 
for a soundtrack deal without any directive is 
sure to fail. 

But that isn't you. You planned ahead. You 
realized the importance of timing. You took the 
time and grasped the ideas that shaped the 
musical fiber of your film. And if the music you 
have carefully chosen matches the demograph- 
ics you derived from your checklist, then you 
have unconsciously leapt over the highest hur- 
dle: creating a thread that links all the music 
together with the characters, dialogue, and 
plot. Your film has become a cohesive body of 
work. 

Many films never see their CD come to 
fruition tor one reason: filmmakers do not know 
how record labels work, nor do they understand 
the process by which soundtrack rights are pur- 
chased or records or made, or the politics of 
selling themselves. Though not your fault, it's 
like asking you to translate a language you can- 
not speak. This is where a supervisor comes in 
handy: he/she can you help navigate the rough 
sea of sales. 

But if a supervisor is beyond your means, do 
your own homework. Invest $20 and buy a 
music business book. Pick up a few issues of 
Billboard, or, better yet, spend a few hours at the 
bookstore looking over the different guide- 
books (e.g., The Yellow Pages of Rock) that list 
record label rosters, artist management con- 
tacts, as well as record label staff. These will 
teach you which record label is best suited to 
the musical genre of your film. You'll learn 
which artists are on what label, who to contact 
if you want to license a particular track, where 
to get information, and which labels are best 
suited to market and promote a soundtrack 
coordinated with your film. 



46 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 




Used cars 

How good a salesman are you? If 
you're capable of verbalizing the 
audio-visual connection between 
your film and a soundtrack, you 
have increased your odds signifi- 
cantly. If you've targeted the right 
labels and have a music- driven 
film, all that's left is to assemble a 
screening copy of your film that 
showcases music you must have, 
the "wishlist" tracks, etc. The goal 
is to make your film as good as 
possible, just as if you were show- 
ing it to distributors. 
Every deal is different. In most cases, inde- 
pendent films are offered advances of $25,000 
to $100,000 for the rights to release the sound- 
track. Part of that money may go towards com- 
pletion of the film or finishing the score. The 
money most likely will be directed toward mas- 
ter and sync fees to place the music in the film. 
If a label wants you to include more music (as 
long as it doesn't compromise the film), make 
sure they pay for it as well. 

Expect the label to want you to include 
some of their artists in the film. That's part of 
the give and take. Remember that you are 
both on the same team, even though each 
player has a different definition of the word 
"win." They want to sell records first. If you 
can make the music great for your film and sell 
records, then both sides win. 

"We remained true to many of our original 
choices, made a good film, and were lucky 
enough to get a soundtrack deal from a label 
that was willing to release the music we had 
worked so hard to choose," says James 
Mangold, writer/director of Heavy and the 
upcoming Copland. "We got exactly what we 
wanted out of the soundtrack, and the label 
paid what they felt comfortable paying." 
Mangold was not expecting a $500,000 sound- 
track deal for a film that cost about that much 
to produce. He was realistic, and his sound- 
track reflected just that for under $50,000. 

Increasing your odds 

If you've memorized the Yellow Pages of Rock, 
then you have learned there are several labels 
that specialize in "score albums" (just the 
instrumental music created by your compos- 
er). TVT Records and Milan are famous for 
picking up the tab and releasing score albums. 
Patricia Joseph, the executive in charge of 
soundtracks for TVT, most recently released 
Big Night because she "found the score to be as 
compelling as the film. It was one of those 



COUUffl 
&SANDS 



INSURANCE 



Discounted Liability 

Insurance 
for AIVF members 



Contact: Debra Kozee 
1-800-257-0883 

56 Beaver Street 

New York, NY 10004-2436 

tel: 212-742-9850 • fax:212-742-0671 



CSS 



Betacam SP 
Editing 

3/4 SP, Hi-8, DV 
Interformat, Transfers 

40/hr, 300/day, 150/night 

Digital Video 

Camera Packages 
150/day 




1 123 Broadway, Suite 814 
New York, New York 10010 

212-228-4254 



It all Checks OUt-.- 







Experiencecl Editors 
Broadcast-Quality 

Non-Linear Video Editing 

Graphics Compositing & Animation 

"Off-tine" &«on4^ 
Competitive, Affordable Rates 

(ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS WELCOME) 
MEDIA ~ 

Mk 1 Film & Video 

NEW YORK 

(800) 807-4142 • (212) 226-1 15! 





April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



Over J.S Features in the Belly. ALL Genres & Budgets! 

DEREK WAN, h.k.s.c. 

Director of Photography 

Represented by: All In One Promotions, Inc. 

For Reel, Call: (212)334 4778 
Fax: (212)334 4776 

E-Mail: allinone@village.ios.com 

Could be an Invaluable Asset to Your Film ! 



31st Annual 

NEW YORK EXPOSITION OF SHORT FILM AND VIDEO 
AND INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA 



ANIMATION • DOCUMENTARY • EXPERIMENTAL • NARRATIVE 
NEW MEDIA • DANCE FILM & VIDEO 

FESTIVAL: NOVEMBER 1997 

PUBLIC SCREENINGS • PANELS . SIDEBAR EVENTS • AWARDS 

at The New School, Greenwich Village, New York City 

Accepting Student and International Entries 

Sponsored by: The New School, Blockbuster Entertainment, 
Sundance Channel, the New York State Council on the Arts, 
Eastman Kodak, Cyberfelds and the New York Film/Video Council. 

ENTRY DEADLINE: JULY 1, 1997 

For entry form and guidelines: 

New York Expo 

532 La Guardia Place, Ste.330 

New York, NY 10012 

©212/505 7742 

email: rswbc@cunyvm.cuny.edu 



NEW Y'OH 



SHORT FILM AND VIDEO 





New York's Premiere Showcase 



AUDIO PRODUCTIONS 



rca 



• SOUND DESIGN, SFX, AND EDITING 

• Foley, ADR, and voice-over recording 

• original music and scoring 

• library music selection and licensing 

• competitive rates 



528 CANAL STREET #4. NEW YORK, NY 10013 • (212) 343-7034 



instances where the music truly made a differ- 
ence in terms of how the film came across." So 
if you find yourself in a situation where your 
film is short on source cues but long on unique 
score, consider this an option. 

If this is the case, perhaps you should think 
twice about Jimmy the bongo player composing 
for your film. A majority of world-famous musi- 
cians will later become composers. Danny 
Elfman did it. Jon Bon Jovi did it. Believe it or 
not, artists are always looking to flex their cre- 
ative wings. Take a shot by contacting a big- 
name artist to compose for your film. Many are 
looking for opportunities to expand into film. 

Beau Flynn, producer of Johns, got jazz great 
Junior Brown to compose for the film and has a 
soundtrack that was released in February. "I 
simply called him up and got him a screening 
copy of the film. It was something he never 
considered doing before, but he jumped at the 
idea," says Flynn. A name commodity like that 
makes a difference. Have the faith in yourself 
and the confidence in your film to believe that 
"name" musicians will work with you. 

Soundtracks swelling 

The hype surrounding soundtracks has grown 
to rival that bolstering the films they support. It 
is standard to find record label mentions in all 
print advertising, as well as dead-card listing of 
bands on the record on all television and trail- 
er prints. Unquestionably, there is a phenome- 
nal glut of soundtracks in the marketplace. In 
fact, many record stores have set aside sound- 
track sections to accommodate the increasing 
numbers. We have reached a point where stu- 
dio executives and independent filmmakers 
alike expect a soundtrack with their film, often 
without any rhyme or reason. It is exactly these 
tolk^ who are making the competition tougher 
than it should be. But that's of concern only 
when you're selling your film. Once sold, there's 
a whole new set of problems, such as timing the 
record release with that of the film, licensing 
and clearance debacles, and internal record 
company strife, to name a few. 

Confidence boost 

Most likely, your film is attempting to tap into a 
specific idea that relates to a specific audience. 
Hold tight to that driving element that fueled 
the film from the start, avoiding the temptation 
to turn your soundtrack into something it is 
not. You will marvel at the response a good film 
with realistic musical aspirations will receive 
from labels. Who knows; you may even sell a 
record or two. 

Jeff Rablian is an independent music supervisor in LA. 
He most recently supervised Wes Craven's Scream. 



48 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



T 


H 


E 




A 


s s 


o c 


1 A T 


1 


O 


N 




O 


F 




1 


D 


1 
E 


N 


D E 


P E 


N D 


E 


N 


T 


E 


R 




V 


O 


& 


F 1 


L M 


M 


A 


K 


S 



Diverse, committed, 
opinionated, and 
fiercely indepen- 
dent — these are the 
video and filmmak- 
ers who are mem- 
bers of AIVF. 
Documentary and 
feature filmmakers, animators, experi- 
mentalists, distributors, educators, 
students, curators — all concerned 
that their work make a difference — 
find the Association of Independent 
Video and Filmmakers, the national 
service organization for independent 
producers, vital to their professional 
lives. Whether it's our magazine, The 
Independent Film & Video Monthly, or 
the organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your indepen- 
dence while letting you know you're 
not alone. 

AIVF helps you save time and money 
as well. You'll find you can spend 
more of your time (and less of your 
money) on what you do best — getting 
your work made and seen. To succeed 
as an independent today, you need a 
wealth of resources, strong connec- 
tions, and the best information avail- 
able. So join with more than 5,000 
other independents who rely on AIVF 
to help them succeed. 
JOIN AIVF TODAY! 

Here's what membership offers: 

THE INDEPENDENT FILM & 
VIDEO MONTHLY 

Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent. 
Thought-provoking features, news, 
and regular columns on business, 



technical, and legal matters. Plus fes- 
tival listings, funding deadlines, exhi- 
bition venues, and announcements of 
member activities and new programs 
and services. Special issues highlight 
regional activity and focus on subjects 
including media education and the 
new technologies. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase dis- 
counted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF suppli- 
ers. A range of health insurance 
options are available, as well as special 
liability, E&O, and production plans 
tailored for the needs of low-budget 
mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

A growing list of businesses across the 
country offer AIVF members dis- 
counts on equipment and auto 
rentals, film processing, transfers, 
editing, and other production necessi- 
ties. Plus long-distance and overnight 
courier services are available at spe- 
cial rates for AIVF members from 
national companies. In New York, 
members receive discounted rates at 
two hotels to make attendance at our 
programs and other important events 
more convenient. 

CONFERENCE /SCREENING 
ROOM 

AIVF's new office has a low- cost 
facility for members to hold meetings 
and small private screenings of work 
for friends, distributors, programmers, 
funders, and producers. 



INFORMATION 

We distribute a series of publications 
on financing, funding, distribution, 
and production; members receive dis- 
counts on selected titles. AIVF's staff 
also can provide information about 
distributors, festivals, and general 
information pertinent to your needs. 
Our library houses information on 
everything from distributors to sample 
contracts to budgets. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, AND 
SEMINARS 

Members get discounts on events cov- 
ering the whole spectrum of current 
issues and concerns affecting the 
field, ranging from business and aes- 
thetic to technical and political top- 
ics. Plus: members-only evenings with 
festival directors, producers, distribu- 
tors, cable programmers, and funders. 

ADVOCACY 

Members receive periodic advocacy 
alerts, with updates on important leg- 
islative issues affecting the indepen- 
dent field and mobilization for collec- 
tive action. 

COMMUNITY 

AIVF sponsors monthly member get- 
togethers in cities across the country; 
call the office for the one nearest you. 
Plus members are carrying on active 
dialogue online — creating a "virtual 
community" for independents to 
share information, resources, and 
ideas. Another way to reach fellow 
independents to let them know about 
your screenings, business services, and 
other announcements is by renting 
our mailing list, available at a dis- 
count to members. 



m 



m5£ 



m 



HBSHHH 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

Individual/Student Membership 

Year's subscription to The Independent • Access to all plans and discounts • Festival/ 
Distribution/Library services • Information Services • Discounted admission to seminars • 
Book discounts • Advocacy action alerts • Eligibility to vote and run for board of directors 

Supporting Membership 

All the above for two individuals at one address, with 1 subscription to The Independent 

Non-profit Organizational/Business & Industry Membership 

All the above benefits, except access to health insurance plans • 2 copies of The Independent 
• 1 free FIVF-published book per year • Complimentary bulk shipments of The Independent to 
conferences, festivals, and other special events • Special mention in The Independent • 
Representative may vote and run for board of directors 



Library Subscription 

Year's subscription to The Independent only 



JOIN AIVF TODAY 



<3 Mailing Rates 

□ Canada- Add $15 

□ Mexico - Add $20 

□ All Other - Add $45 

Q USA - Magazines are mailed Second-class; 
add $20 for First-class mailing 

$ Membership cost 

$ Mailing costs (if applicable) 

$ Contribution tO FIVF (make separate tax-deductible check payable co FIVF) 

$ Total amount enclosed (check or money orde) 

Or please bill my Q Visa Q MC 
Acct # 



Membership Rates 

□ $25/student (enclose copy of student ID) 

□ $45/individual 

□ $75/supporting 

□ $75/library subscription 

Q $100/non-profit organization 
Q $150/business & industry 

Name(s) 



Organization 

Address 

City 

State 



ZIP 



Country 

Weekday tel. 
Fax 



E-mail 



Exp. date I II I 



Signature^ 



AIVF/FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th Fl., NY, NY 10013; (212) 807-1400 x 235; fax (212) 463-8519 

http://www.virtualfilm.com/AIVF/ 



Etai 



ml 



>£1Rm 



■ 






M 



*.>,* 






m 



.,■ 



m 



&w 



« 



H®& 



mtifi 



Ei'j 



■ 



■ 



■ 



4J1 



op 



IrWfl 



by Ryan Deuss in g 

listings do not constitute an endorsement, 
since some details may change after the mag- 
azine goes to press, we recommend that you 
contact the festival directly before sending 
preview cassettes. deadline for submitting a 
call for entries in the festival column is the 
15th of the month two-and-a-half months 
prior to cover date (e.g., april. 15 for july 
issue). all blurbs should include: festival 
dates, categories, prizes, entry fees, dead- 
lines, formats & contact info. to improve our 
reliability and make this column more bene- 
ficial, we encourage all mediamakers to 
contact fivf with changes, criticism, or 
praise for festivals profiled. 

Domestic 

BLACK HARVEST INTERNATIONAL FILM 
AND VIDEO FESTIVAL July, IL. Deadline: Late 
May; fee: none. Estab. in 1995, 10-day fest screens 
film & video. Features many directors in person for 
audience discussion. Sidebar events. Fest mission is 
to bring contemporary & quality cinema from 
Black diaspora to Chicago area. Recent prods 6k 
archival restorations accepted; any films not previ- 
ously screened in Chicago considered. Ind. 
African-American & African, Caribbean, Cana- 
dian & British Black films programmed. Sponsored 
by Film Center at School of Art Institute of 
Chicago as part of yr-round exhibition program of 
int'l cinema. Community-based program commit- 
tee incl. local Black filmmakers, critics & acade- 
mics who review entries & make selections. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Contact: 
Barbara Scharres, Film Center director, Black 
Harvest Int'l Film & Video Fest, Film Center at 
School of Art Institute of Chicago, Columbus 
Drive & Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 
443-3733; fax: (312) 332-5859; bschar@artic.edu 

CINELATINO! FESTIVAL Sept. 18-28, CA. 
Deadline: May 17; fee: $35. Organized by San 
Franciso-based Cine Action, fest seeks film & 
video works that reflect the dignity & diversity of 
Latino, Latin American & Carribean communities. 
Film 6k video works by and/or about Latinos in the 
US as well as works from Latin America & the 
Carribean encouraged for submission. This year's 
focus is on films dealing w/ (im) migration, ethnic 
diversity, Latino contributions to US culture/histo- 
ry, youth issues, 6k Latin American responses to 
oppression & injustice. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
NTSC 3/4" 6k 1/2" video. Contact: Cine Action, 
346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 553- 
8135; CineAccion@aol.com 

LONG ISLAND FILM AND VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL July 18-Aug 3, NY. Deadline: May 1; fee: $50- 
$75. Orig conceived in 1984 as showcase for Long 
Island filmmakers, fest has become regional show- 
case for ind. prod, features, docs, videos & short 
films. Held at Huntington Cinema Arts Centre, 
regional theatre exhibiting ind. films yr-round. 
Competitive fest awards in cats of Best Feature, 
Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best 



Art Direction/Prod. Design, Best Special F/X/Make- 
Up, Best Screenplay, Grand Jury Prize, Producer of 
the Year, On-Location Award, Best of Fest, Audience 
Award, First Feature Award (drama, comedy), Best 
Experimental Feature, Best Animated Film, Best 
Short Film, Student Film (drama, experimental, doc, 
music video), Best Doc (work in progress, historical, 
series), Sales & Marketing, Student Video. Add'l 
contact: Long Island Film/TV Foundation, Box 2157, 
Saint James, NY 17780. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 
1/2". Contact: Director, Long Island Film & Video 
Fest, Suffolk County Motion Picture & TV 
Commission, Dennison Bldg, 11th fl., Veterans 
Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788; (516) 
853-4800; (800) 762-4769; www.lifilm.org 

MARGARET MEAD FILM FESTIVAL Nov., NY. 

Deadline: May 3; fee: none. Premiere fest in US for 
anthropological & ethnographic film & video. Each 
yr works programmed on different themes; 1995 
themes were films on & about children, works by 
media collectives/community-produced media & any 
non-fiction work looking at general cultural themes 
in West & non-West. Only non-fiction works accept- 
ed; all lengths eligible & no restrictions on premiere 
or date of completion. Film- & videomakers whose 
works are selected receive certificate of participation 
6k pass to all fest events; some financial assistance & 
housing available. Est public audiences for programs 
over 5,000. After NY fest presentation, many titles 
packaged & tour to ind. film centers, museums & 
universities as part of Margaret Mead traveling film/ 
video fest. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". 
Contact: Elaine Charnov, director, Margaret Mead 
Film Fest, American Museum of Natural History, 
Department of Education, Central Park West at 79th 
St., New York, NY 10024; (212) 769-5305; fax: 5329. 

NATIVE AMERICAN FILM & FESTIVAL Oct. 
30-Nov. 3, NYC. Deadline: April 30; fee: none. In 
10th yr, fest. organized by Nat'l Museum of the 
American Indian features prods, made by native 
media makers and works reflecting native perspec- 
tives including ind. features, doc's, experimental 
works & tribal community prods. Open to film, video, 
radio & CD-ROM prods, from North, South, & 
Central America & Hawaii. Only work produced in 
1995 or later eligible. Submissions must be accompa- 
nied by an entry form avail, from Film 6k Video 
Center (212) 825-6894- 

NORTHAMPTON FILM FESTIVAL Nov. 6-9, 
MA. Deadline: June 30; fee: $25. Film 6k video prods, 
by established 6k erherging US artists are the focus of 
this festival now going into 3rd yr. Cash awards 6k 
prizes presented in various cat's: animation, narra- 
tive, experimental 6k doc. No commercial, industrial 
or promotional works. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4" 
6k 1/2". Submissions on VHS only. Contact: 
Northampton Film Assoc, 351 Pleasant St. #137, 
Northampton, MA 01060; (413) 586-3471; fax: 584- 
4432; filmfest@ nohofiIm.org; www.nohofiIm.org 

OUT ON THE SCREEN July, CA. Deadline: April 
11; fee: $10-$20. This is 15th annual OUTFEST, 
which seeks films 6k videos by and/or about gay men, 
lesbians, biexuals 6k transgenders. Open to narrative 
6k doc. features 6k shorts on 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", or 
1/2" video. Ten cast awards ranging from $500 to 
$2,000. Contact: Out on the Screen, 8455 Beverly 
Boulevard, Suite 309, LA, CA 90048; (213) 951- 
1247; fax: 951-0721; outfest@aol.com 





SINKING CREEK FILM AND VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL November, Nashville, TN. Deadline: Mid-May. 
Entry fee: $25-$55. Founded in 1969, this is the old- 
est southern film festival w/ focus on indep. media 6k 
nat'l reputation for support 6k encouragement of ind. 
work. Ind., noncommercial 6k student film/video of 
all lengths eligible. $10,000 in cash awards presented. 
Entries must have been completed w/in previous 2 
yrs. 6k not submitted to previous fests. About 75 films 
6k videos showcased each year. Past special programs 
have included African-American issues, women's 
issues, coming out on film, films for the environment, 
art on film 6k other cultural issues. This yr. features 
new Feature cat. Festival held on campus of 
Vanderbilt University. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4". 
Contact: Scarlett Graham, exec, director, Sinking 
Creek Film 6k Video Fest., 402 Sarratt Student Cen- 
ter, Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN 37240; (615) 
343-3419; fax: 343-9461. 

UFVA STUDENT FILM AND VIDEO FESTI- 
VAL, August, PA. Deadline: May 31; fee: $15, $10 
UFVA members. Fest founded in 1993 to "survey 6k 
exhibit the very best in current student film 6k video 
worldwide." Emphasizes independence, creativity 6k 
new approaches to visual media. All entries must 
have been created by students enrolled in a college, 
university, or graduate school at time of prod. 6k 
should have been completed no earlier than May of 
previous 2 yrs. Work may have originated in any for- 
mat but must be submitted for preview on VHS. 
Works considered in cats of animation, doc, experi- 
mental 6k narrative. All works prescreened by panel 
of film/video makers, teachers 6k curators. Finalists 
sent to judges. Over $8,000 in prizes awarded. 
Awards ceremony 6k fest held at annual conference 
of UFVA, which takes place at different location 
each yr. About 35 works showcased each yr. National 
tour of selected fest winners 6k finalists begins after 
fest at venues TBA. Past venues have incl. American 
Cinemateque (LA); Rhode Island School of Design; 
Films from the Margin (Boston); Stanford University; 
Neighborhood Film/Video Project (Philadelphia); 
Montana State University; American University; 
Jackson Hole Cultural Council. UFVA is int'l org 
dedicated to arts 6k sciences of film 6k video 6k devel- 
opment of motion pictures as medium of communi- 
cation; publishes UFVA Int'l Fest Directory for 
Students. Formats: 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", 8mm. Contact: 
UFVA Student Film 6k Video Fest, Department of 
Radio-TV-Film, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 
19122; (800) 499-UFVA. 

VERMILLION INT'L FILM FESTIVAL June 19- 
23, SD. Deadline: May 10; fee: none. Billed as "the 
only noncompetitive, noncommercial int'l fest. 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



RENT A MEDIA 1 00 XS FOR LESS 



Top of the line MEDIA 100 and ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS. 

Bv the hour, day or week, with or without an editor. 



We will beat any price in this magazine. 

Edit at our New York City location. 
Call 203.254.7370 or page 917.824.3334 24 hr. 



ALSO COMPLETE BETA SP and ARRI SR CAMERA 
PACKAGES WITH PRO-CREW. CALL FOR REEL. 



SHOOT AND EDIT WITH US - SAVE MONEY - NO KIDDING 




1997 Call For Entries 



LONG ISLAND 
FILM FESTIVAL 

14th Annual Film/Video Festival 

Staller Center for the Arts 

University at Stony Brook 

July 18-August3, 1997 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 5/1/97) 
Long Island Film Festival 

c/o PO Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 • 516-853-4800 
From 10-6, Mon-Fri 



The Long Island Film Festival is co-produced by The Long Island 
Film & TV Foundation and the Staller Center for the Arts, University 
at Stony Brook in association with the Suffolk County Motion F*icture 
and Television Commission. It is sponsored in part by the Suffolk 
County Department of Economic Development. 




devoted to original, dramatic, low budget prods, by 
new & emerging talent," now in 2nd year. Part of 
Vermillion Arts Festival. Formats: 16mm &. Super 
8mm only. All submissions on 1/2" video. Fest. open 
only to dramatic shorts, features, & student works. 
Contact: Mark Derby, Vermillion Int'l Film Fest., 
USD Education Media Center, 414 E. Clark St., 
Vermillion, SD 57069; (605) 677-5409; fax: 677- 
6518; mderby@usd.edu 

WINE COUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL Julyl7-Aug. 
10, CA. Deadline: April 30th; fee $25. In 11th yr., 
fest. features competitive and noncompetitive pro- 
grams in the heart of California's wine country, 60 
miles north of S.F. Open to features, shorts, doc's & 
animation. Fest. includes Blockbuster Short Film 
Competition, David Wolper Doc. Prize, New Dir- 
ector Prize. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, some video. All 
submissions on 1/2" VHS. Wine Country Film Fest., 
12000 Henno Rd., Box 303, Glen Ellen, CA 95442; 
(707) 996-2536; fax: 996-6964; wcfilmfest@aol.com; 
I www.winezone.com 

Foreign 

CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTI- 
VAL July, UK. Deadline: Late May; fee: none. Based 
at Arts Cinema in center of Cambridge, fest annually 
presents 18 day int'l panorama of best of world cine- 
ma, retros & classic revivals. Screenings comple- 

I mented by debates btw audiences & filmmakers, 
industry professionals & critics. Also features pro- 

I gram of over 50 British premieres of films from 
Cannes, Berlin, Sundance & other int'l fests. 
Features (fiction, doc & animation) accepted. Over 
50 short films featured at weekend event (deadline 
for submission of shorts is early May). Formats: 
35mm, 16mm. Contact: Francois Ballay, director, 
Cambridge Int'l Film Fest, Arts Cinema, 8 Market 
Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PF, UK; tel: 011 44 1 223 
462 666; fax: 011 44 1 223 462 555; e-mail: hier- 
an@cambarts.cityscape.co.uk 

DRAMBUIE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL 
FILM FESTIVAL August, Scotland. Deadline: Mid 
May; fee: £10-£80, depending on budget. Formerly 
Edinburgh Int'l Film Fest. "Fest of discovery, celebra- 
tion of cinema, centre of debate, & catalyst for new 
directors & first films." Began in 1947 as a doc film 
fest &. is particularly interested in non-fiction; also in 
any film which has not been shown in public before. 
Showcases about 300 new films each yr; shows live 
action &. animated shorts before every film in every 
section. In 1995 initiated major section of world pre- 
mieres of int'l films &. New British Expo, which 
attempts to show every British feature film made w/in 
previous yr. All films screened to public audiences; 
also screenings for press, delegates & attending 
guests. Awards go to Best New British Film, Best First 
Feature & Best Animation. Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 
16mm, Beta; preview on 1/2". Contact: Mark 
Cousins, director, Drambuie Edinburgh Int'l Film 
Fest, Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 
9BZ, Scotland, United Kingdom; tel: Oil 44 31 228 
4051; fax: Oil 44 31 229 5501; info@edfilmfest. 
org.uk; www.edfilmfest.org.uk 

FESTIVAL OF NATIONS June 15-21, Austria. 
Deadline: May 1; fee: none. Competitive fest. open to 
all "non- commercial" films &. videos regardless of 
topic. Int'l jury awards Ebenseer Bear in gold, silver. 



50 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



&. bronze as well as special certificates and award for 
best experimental film. Contact: Erich Riess, A- 
4060 Linz, Gaumbergstr. 82; 01143-732-673693 
(ph/fax). 

INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR 
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE July 7-18, 
Uruguay. Deadline: May 12. Festival takes place 
annually w/ purpose of presenting overview of new 
film prods, for children & adolescents & facilitating 
access to best &. most diverse material. Competitive 
program judged by jury, UNESCO, UNICEF & 
OCIC also award prizes, as does separate jury of 
children. Films in competition must not have been 
previously screened in Uruguay; all submissions 
must be on PAL U-Matic or NTSC VHS or S-VHS. 
Cat's: feature, short, animation & doc. Non- 
competitive program open to features, shorts & TV 
prods. All screenings will be on PAL U-Matic. 
Contact: Cinemateca Urugaya, 011-598-2-494572; 
cinemuy@ chasque.apc.org 

INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY FILM FESTI- 

| VAL June 22-28, Italy. Deadline: May 10; fee: none. 
18th yr. of fest. held in town of Cattolica. Open to 
mystery, crime, detective 6k thriller films, feature 
length only. Films must not have been previously 
screened in Italy. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. All sub- 
missions on VHS; subtitles not required. Contact: 
Mystfest, Piazzale Nettuno 1, 47033 Cattolica Italy; 
011-39-541-968214; fax: 958137; mystfest@cattoli- 
ca.net; www.cattolica.net 

JERUSALEM FILM FESTIVAL July 10-19, Israel. 
Deadline: May 15; fee: none. 14th annual fest. will 
screen over 150 films in many cat's, including int'l 



cinema, doc, shorts, animation, new directors, 
American indep., Israeli cinema, Mediterranean cin- 
ema, avant garde, Jewish themes & restorations. 
Awards include Wolgin Awards for Israeli cinema, 
Lipper Award for best Israeli script, Wim van Leer 
Award (int'l competition), Mediterranean Cinema 
Award, Films on Jewish Theme Award (int'l comp.) . 
Entries must not have previously screened in Israel. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, video. Contact: Lia van Leer, 
Director, Box 8561, Derech Hebron, Jerusalem 
91083; tel: 011-9722-672-4131; fax: 673-3076; 
jer_cine@inter.net.il; www.cine.jer.org.il 

MOSCOW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 

July, Russia. Deadline: Mid May. Founded in 1959, 
fest incls competition of not more than 18 full-length 
films presenting wide range of modern world film 
prod.; out of competition screenings (Panorama); ret- 
ros & tributes. Organized by Moscow government, 
Russian State Committee for the Cinema & Union of 
Filmmakers of Russia. In 1995, fest received a $12 
million grant from the Russian government to 
revamp event, w/ $3 million to be spent refurbishing 
local cinemas. Only feature films completed after Jan 
1 of preceding yr 6k unscreened in competitive sec- 
tion of other int'l fests eligible for competition. 
Awards: Main Prize ($50,000 6k sculpture of St. 
George, symbol of the City of Moscow); Special Jury 
Prize ($20,000); Best Director ($20,000); Best Actor 
($20,000); Best Actress ($20,000); each film receives 
Diploma of Participation. Bolshoi Theater is site of 
fest's opening 6k closing ceremonies; outdoor celebra- 
tions held in Red Square 6k Moscow parks. Fest also 
sponsors film market 6k now has modern press center. 
Formats: 70mm, 35mm. Contact: Alexandre 



Alanesyan, general director, Moscow International 
Film Fest, Interfest, Khokhlovsky Per., 10/1, Moscow 
109028, Russia; tel: 011 95 917 2486; 916 0107 fax. 

MUNICH FILM FESTIVAL June 28-July 5, 
Germany. Deadline: May 1; fee: none. Open to all 
genres w/ awards for Best Int'l TV Film 6k One Future 
Prize, as well as special awards for German filmmak- 
ers. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Contact: Eberhard 
Hauff, Director, Filfest Miinchen, Kaiserstr. 39, D- 
80801 Miinchen, Germany; 011-49-89-38-19040; 
fax: 190426. 

WELLINGTON FILM FESTIVAL, July, New 
Zealand. Noncompetitive fest, now in its 26th year, is 
presented every July by New Zealand Federation of 
Film Societies 6k the Wellington Film Society, both of 
which are nonprofit organizations with the "aims of 
fostering interest in the motion picture and encour- 
aging high standards of film appreciation." Fest devel- 
oped to encourage screening of new films that might 
not otherwise have been brought to New Zealand. 
Selections limited to feature 6k short films that have 
not previously screened in the country. Festival annu- 
ally showcases invited program of about 100 features 
6k almost as many shorts. The Wellington Film 
Festival is sister of Auckland Film Festival, which pre- 
sents same basic program about a week later. 
Highlights of both fests selected to screen in traveling 
film fest in cities of Hamilton, Palmerston North, 
Christchurch 6k Dunedin. Formats accepted: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2", Beta. Entry fee: None. Contact: Bill 
Gosden, festival director, Box 9544, Te Aro, 
Wellington, New Zealand; tel: 011 64 4 850 162; fax: 
801 7304; enzedff@ actrix.gen.nz 



15TH ANNUAL 



CENTRAL FLORIDA 

FILM 

tVIDEO 




0ct6 



Deadline for entries 

is June 9, 1997 

Narrative, 

Experimental, 

Documentary, 

Animation & 

Music Video 

A Frameworks Alliance 

Presentation 

Ph/Fx 407.839.6045 



www.cffvf.org 



In the heart of Texas you'll find 
the heart of the movie industry. 



Call for 



a free b 



brochure, price list and screen credits. 214/869 -01 00 






When you finish 

shootins for the day, 

that little tin can contains 

more than film. ..it contains 

your heart and soul. At Allied Digital 

Technologies we understand that. Which is 

why since 1 982 hundreds of feature films, 

commercials and music videos have been trusted to 

Allied for processing. In fact, we're one of the few labs 

in the country to consistently receive an excellent 

quality rating from Eastman Kodak. To maintain our 

standard of excellence we continue to stay on the 

cutting edge of today's technology. 



We provide the best in 
t video and audio duplication, 
CD& CD-ROM replication, 
^fulfillment and distribution 
.all under one^ roof. Providing you with 
an original image of unsurpassed quality is our main 
goal. Whether it's for a feature, commercial, CD- 
ROM, DVD or HDTV project, Allied has the people 
and experience to meet your demanding standards. 
So wherever you're shooting today, remember 
we're only a short flight away in the heart of Texas. 



• All This and More Under One Roof • Package Pricing Available • 16mm/Super 16mm/35mm Camera 
Original Overnight Processing & Dailies • 16mm/35mm Mixing Facilities • Complete with Video SSL Screen Sound. 

Foley, Editing • Rank Transfer Service- to D-2, Digital Betacam, 1" Type C, Betacam, Betacam SP, 3/4", S-VHS 

with Nagra-T Sync Capabilities. 3/4" SP, 1/2" VHS, or Beta (Including Interlock Transfer) 

• Video Dailies from 35mm, 16mm, and Super 16mm, with KEYKODE TLC Edit Controller, Flex File & Key Log 

EASY ACCESS- Over 3000 flights in & out of Dallas daily 

MIICD 

Quint LflUAklilll Cup. , . . , ,...., 

E-Mail at Txtbifa@allied.mhs.compuserve.com or 

6305 N. O'Connor Rd. Suite 111, Irving, TX 75039-3510 Fax(214) 869-2117 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 51 




classified ads of up to 240 characters in 
length (incl. spaces & punctuation) cost 
$25/issue for aivf members, $35 for novem- 
bers; classified ads of 240-480 characters 
cost $45/issue for aivf members, $65 for non- 
members, please include valid member id#. 
ads exceeding requested length will be edited, 
all advertising copy should be typed and 
accompanied by check or money order payable 
to: fivf, 304 hudson st., ny, ny 10013. to pay by 
credit card, you must include: card type 
(visa/mc); card number; name on card; expira- 
tion date; billing address & cardholder's day- 
time phone. advertisers wishing to run a clas- 
sified more than once must pay for each inser- 
tion and indicate number of insertions on sub- 
mitted copy. ads running five or more times 
receive a $5 discount per issue. deadlines are 
1st of each month, two months prior to cover 
date (e.g. april 1 for june issue). 

Buy • Rent • Sell 

3/4" SP SUITE: 9850 deck w/ timecode generator/ 
reader, 9800 deck w/ timecode reader, Hi-8 to 3/4" 
dubs (EVO 9800), computer controller (Sundance), 
8-channel sd mixer, Digit Audio Editing (Sunrize) 6k 
Video Toaster. Low rates, Flatiron location. (212) 
691-8360. 

BETACAM SP CAMERA PACKAGE tor rent. 
BVW 507 camera, audio 6k lights, $400 per day. Top- 
notch crews available. (212) 620-0933 

FILM FRIENDS A one-stop production services co. 
w/ 35BL, 16SR, BetaSP pkg, TC Nagra4, TC Fostex 
PD-4, SVHS, Steadicam, much more for rent. (212) 
620-0084. 

LOCATION VAN & 2 16MM CAM'S zoom, 
primes, mags, lights, stands, tripod, lots of extras. 
Call for list: All $20,000. (212) 490-9082 

NAGRA 4.2 RECORDER Excellent condition. 7- 
in. lid, phantom power, 50/60 htz. switchable sync 
pulse, leather 6k nylon carrying cases, steel shipping 
case. $4,000. Patrick (415) 731-0911; fax -6451; 
pjmoyroud@prodigy.com 

RENT OR SALE Sony CCD-VX3 Hi8 3-chip cam- 
era. Extra chargers and batteries. Please call (718) 
284-2645. 

RENTALS Media 100 $900/wk. in spacious Tribeca 
loft, 3-chip Sony camera/lavalier pkg. $400/wk. Call 



Cinnabar Pictures (212) 334- 

VIDEO EQUIPMENT Sony BVU-800 $2,000; 
BVU-850 $3,000; VO-5850 $1,500; VO-5800 
$1,500; VO-5600 $600; VP-5000 $300; VP-7000 
$400; VO-7600 $800; VO-6800 $400; BVU-150 
$1,000. Lots more, DA's, Mons, Scopes, etc. John 
(201) 591-0523. 

Distribution 

ATA TRADING CORP. actively 6k successfully 
distributing ind. prods for over 50 yrs., seeks new 
programming of all types for worldwide distribution 
into all markets. Contact us at (212) 594-6460. 

CONTENT '97 only annual gathering for produc- 
ers, distributors, vendors 6k users of educational 
media, runs May 28-31 at Oakland Convention 
Center in Oakland, CA. Features: Media Market, 
premiere marketplace for educational media prod- 
ucts (film, video, interactive titles); seminars; show- 
case of award-winning productions; exhibit of latest 
equipment 6k services; networking opportunities. 
Media Market deadline: April 15; Conference dead- 
line: May 7. Contact Nat'l Educational Media 
Network (510) 465-6885; 465-2835 fax. 

EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR Consider the 
University of California. We can put 80 years ot suc- 
cessful experience in educational marketing to work 
for you. Kate Spohr, (510) 643-2788; www-cmil. 
unex.berkeley.edu/media/ 

FANLIGHT PRODUCTIONS distrib of award- 
winning film & video on disabilities, health care, 
mental health, family/social issues, etc. seeks new 
work tor distrib to educ. markets. Karen McMillen, 
Fanlight Productions, 47 Halifax St., Boston, MA 
02130; (800) 937-4113. 

Freelancers 

16MM/35MM PROD. PKG w/ cinematographer. 
Complete pkg includes 16mm or Arri 35BL w video 
assist, Nagra 6k sound kit, Mole/Lowel lights, dolly, 
jib crane, grip equip, w/ truck. Credits in features, 
shorts, docs, music videos. Call Tom (201) 807-0155. 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR Avid, Video, Film. 

Experience in Shorts, Docs, commercials, etc. 
Looking for more feature work. Flexible rates, good 
connections, call for reel. Todd Feuer (516) 889- 
0683. 

BETA SP cameraman w/ Sony 3-chip BYP- 
70/BVV5SR avail, for your project. Equip, pkg, DP 
kit, Sennheiser mics, 5-passenger van. Audio engi- 
neer avail. 3/4" offline editing system. Thomas (212) 
929-2439; (201) 667-9894. 

BETA SP VIDEOGRAPHER New camera, lights, 
mics, the works, will travel, give me a call. Lots of 
experience, will work with your budget. Call Todd 
(516) 889-0683. 

BETA SP videographer w/ new Sony Betacam-SP 
mics ek lights. Very portable, light weight 6k I'm fast. 
Experience includes: doc's, interviews, industrials, 
fashion shows 6k comedy clubs. Please call John 
Kelleran (212) 334-3851 

BRENDAN C. FLYNT Director of Photography w/ 



15 feature credits and dozen shorts. Owns 35 Arri, 
Super 16/16 Aaton, HMIs, Tungsten, and Dolly w/ 
tracks. Call for quotes and reel at ph/fx (212) 226- 
8417 or ela292(§ aol.com. Credits: Tromeo and 
Juliet, The Offering, Fine Young Gentlemen, Brushfire. 

CAMERA ASSISTANT Owner Aaton S16 cam- 
era pkg. Experienced, punctual, dedicated. Also 
experienced Avid editor w/ creative vision. Call for 
reel. Andy (718) 797-9051. 

CAMERAMAN Aaton 16mm or BetaSP prod, 
package includes lighting, audio 6k car. Awards 6k 
experience in music video, features, commercials, 
PBS docs, industrials, etc. Professional work ethic. 
David (212) 377-2121. 

CAMERAMAN Award-winning, sensitive, effi- 
cient shooter w/ 1 2 yrs. experience in docs, perfor- 
mance, corporate, overseas projects. Sony BVW- 
300A Broadcast Beta SP pkg. Rates tailored to pro- 
ject 6k budget. Japanese spoken. Scott, Public Eye 
Productions, (212) 627-1244. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER owner Aaton reg/S- 
16mm pkg. w/ video tap and more. Creative, effi- 
cient, good listener. Features, shorts, doc's, music 
videos. Interesting reel. Kevin Skvorak (212) 229- 
8357; kevskvk(3 inx.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER Young, talented shooter 
w/ BetaSP pkg., credits on films by award-winning 
documentary directors. Seeking opportunities on 
innovative feature docs. Very low rates available 
for exceptional projects. Tsuyoshi (718) 243-9144. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER/FILMMAKER Engage 
passionate projects only. Own 16nim, doc, portrait, 
music, political. Lon Hin» (212) 628-3913. 

COMPOSER Astounding original music that ^uit- 
all of your needs in all styles. Scored features, TV, 
shorts. Credits include PBS, Sundance. Efficient. 
timely production of scores! Leonard P Lionnet, 
B.M. Eastman School, M.A. NYU (212) 980-7689. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY cameraman 
available w/ own equip, to shoot features, music 
videos, commercials, etc. Steadicam also available. 
Call for info & reel (212) 929-7728 or (800) 592- 
3350. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Looking for 
interesting projects. Owner ot Aaton S16 camera 
pkg., 35mm pkg. 6k Avid 8000 also available. 
Credits include features, docs, commercials and 
music videos in US, Europe, Israel. Call for reel. 
Adam (212) 861-6234. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for 
interesting features, shorts, ind. projects, etc. 
Credits include features, commercials, industrials, 
short films, music videos. Aaton 16/S-16 pkg avail. 
Call Abe (914) 783-3159. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY SI 6mm, 
16mm, 35mm. Experienced, credits include fea- 
tures, videos, docs. Reel avail. Own Arri SR16, 
small tungsten pkg., sound pkg. + xtras. LKB Prod. 
(718) 802-9874. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w 35 mm 

Arritlex B Camera available. Great reel, affordable 
rates. Crew on request. Call for reel- David (212) 
679-9510. 



52 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, tal- 
ent &. experience. Credits incl. features, commercials, 
docs, shorts & music videos. Owner of Aaton 
16mm/Superl6mm pkg., 35mm pkgs. also avail. Call 
for my reel. Bob (212) 741-2189. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ complete 
Arri 16 BL camera pkg. Rates are flexible & I work 
quickly. Features, shorts, music videos. Much indie 
film experience. I can work deals that save you 
money. Willing to travel. Matthew (617) 244-6730 or 
(914) 439-5459 for reel. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with extensive 
experience in Europe and US is looking for interest- 
ing feature film projects, feature length documen- 
taries. Demo reel available. Please call Igor at (212) 
473-4571. 

EDITOR Experienced Avid editor available for free- 
lance work on independent docs and features. Strong 
documentary background. Interested in projects 
challenging in form and content. Rates adjustable 
based on the project. Please call John (212) 787- 
5481. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY Frequent con- 
tributor to "Legal Briefs" column in The Independent 
& other magazines, offers legal services to film & 
video community on projects from development to 
distribution. Reasonable rates. Contact: Robert L. 
Seigel, Esq. (212) 307-7533. 

EXPERIENCED DP w/ Arri 16 SR 6k Aaton S-16 
pkgs, plus Mole Richardson lighting pkg, seeks inter- 
esting film projects in feature or short-subject form. 
Very reasonable rates for new directors 6k screenwrit- 
ers. (212) 737-6815; fax 423-1125. 

INSANELY FAST EDITOR w/ network credits and 
a brand-spankin' new Avid is poised to tackle your 
project or just rent you the Avid (MC Offline, Beta 
deck, 36+ gigs). Need I say rates that will knock your 
socks off? Doug (212) 665-6708. 

LOCATION SOUND Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/ 
time code Nagra 6k DAT, quality mics. Consider pro- 
jects anywhere, anytime. Reduced rates for low-bud- 
get films/videos. Harvey 6k Fred Edwards (518) 677- 
5720; beeper (800) 796-7363 (ext/pin 1021996), 
edfilms@worldnet.att.net 

MUSIC FOR FILM.. .Music ...Music ...Music ' 
...Music ...Music ...Music ...Music ...Music ...Music 
...Music ...Music ...Music ...Music #$%&*? ...Music 
...Music ...Music Todd Anderson (800) 925-4762 or 
(801) 467-4379 for demo. 

PASSIONATE CINEMATOGRAPHER looking 
to work w/ original script 6k director. Award-winning 
work: Sundance, Bravo, BBC, MoMA, MTV.. I'll 
collaborate closely to interpret 6k enhance your 
vision. Excellent eye for drama, professional 6k fast. 
Camera 6k crew. Inquiries w/ script, dates, 6k budget 
call Tim Naylor ph/fx (718) 832-1215. 

PRODUCER/ACTOR w/ 8 lead credits (features) 
has trucks, HMI 6k tungsten lights, RV, 17' tulip 
crane, SRI 1-16 camera, offline D2 pro 2.2 all ready 
to go. Make your project happen — no upfront cash. 
Call: Danny (706) 865-1888; fax -5225. 

STEADICAM Dolly smooth moves w/ the flexibility 
of a hand-held camera. Call Sergei Franklin (212) 
228-4254. 



Vortheast Negative Matchers, Iik 

"Setting New Standards In Negative Cutting" 
Negative Cutting to Film or Video Workprint 

SPECIALIZING IN VIDEO MATCHBACK TO THE AVID FILM COMPOSER 

□ 35mm □ Super 16mm Q16mm 



25 Riverview Terrace • Springfield, MA 01 108 • 413/736-2177 • 800/370-CUTS 
North Miami Office 305/940-8878 



~ 



J 




Avid Feature Film Camp™ 

Avid Feature Film Camp™ combines Avid 
Authorized Media Composer education 
with hands-on experience in the post 
production of a feature film. Under the 
tutelage of a feature editor and two 
supervising assistants, students from 
around the world work together as 
assistant editors with credit on a 
previously unreleased motion picture 
For six weeks, Avid Feature Rim Camp™ 
partidpants become completely 
immersed in learning the art and science 
of digital film post production . 

digital media 

^education center 

503.29 7.2324 
http://www.diiiec.com 



CALL FOR ENTRIES 














Show Your Shorts * c/o Catherine DelBuono 

P.O. Box 987 -New York, NY 10011 

Lemmonaid2@aol.com 



|, Hf MEDIA 



Armadillo 
Studios 



Macintosh based 
non-linear editor 
Prices start 
at $5O0/wk. 



Beta SNecIt, 18 gig hwkm, DAT storage backup, 
Photostiop, Illustrator, Aftereffects 



292 5th Ave. S0NY BE ? ACAM SP m R0LL & straight cuts 

OiOJlid. IKKrt W/VideoToastcr & Amilink Edit Controller 
Z1Z-714-3350 Pr{ces starf a| $40/l)f 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 53 



MediaIOO® Suites 

WITH OR WITHOUT EDITOR 

= LOTS of media storage 
= Custom graphics, FX, 
3-d animation with 
after effects 
electric image 
photoshop, etc... 
= conversion for cd-rom 

and Internet 
= camera pkgs. & crews 
^voice-over booth 

Great noho Location 





278 Babcock St. Boston, MA 02215 
617-254-7862 Phon* - 617-254-7149 Fax 



v tMG, 






M««6, 




4sza 




Digital Madia Am 



Media Friucation Program 

Classes: 

—Java 

—adobe pholoshop 

—designing £ programming web pages 

— intro to adobe premiere 

— intro 6 advanced macromedia director 

intro to multimedia technology 
—intro £ advanced adobe after affects 
—editing on the media 100 
—digital audio workstations 
—audio post-production for film £ video 

6 hour workshops over 2-3 weeks. Individual 
tutoring packages available. New Multimedia 
Production Studio rental rates also available. 
Classes limited to 10 students. 

To register or receive a complete class schedule contact: 
HARVESTWORKS 596 Broadway, Suite 602, NYC 10012 
2 12.43 I.I 130x16, http://www.avsi.com/harvestworks. 



! 



1 




I 



FIREHOUSE STUDIOS, INC. 

All Your Audio Needs For Video & Film Post! 

Digital lock to Betacam SP and 3/4" 
Protools ffl, ADAT, Tenecode DAT + MIDI 



ADR & voiceover to picture 

Live recording & MIDI to picture 

Sound design, editing, SFX & mixing 

Original music & scoring, Library music selection. 

150 W28th St. Suite 302 212-645-0666 



SU-CITY PICTURES EAST PRESENTS The 

Screenplay Dr., the Movie Mechanic & the Film 
Strategists. Story editors/postproduction specialists 
will analyze your project/screenplay and evaluate 
your film-in-progress. Major Studio/Indie back- 
ground. Multimedia & Interactive consultations. 
Competitive rates. (212) 219-9224. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in 
NYC seeking cameraman and soundmen w/betacam 
video experience to work with our wide array of 
News and News magazine clients. If qualified, con- 
tact COA immediately at (212) 505-1911 

Opportunities • Gigs 

COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL: October 1997. 
Features, Shorts, Animation. Deadline: July 31. 
Format: 35mm, 16mm. Initial entries must be 1/2" 
VHS. For entry forms send SASE to NYCFF c/o 
One on One Productions, 126 West 23rd St., NYC 
1001 1. Comedies only! 

DP/CAMERA OP., field sound person wanted for 
documentary series. Feminist crew (Si subject. Shoot 
16mm & Super-8 film. Minimal crew. Travel 9 out of 
18 months. Fax bio/resume to (404) 584-821 1. 

FULL-TIME FACULTY POSITION/ANIMA- 
TION Start 9/97. MFA, college teaching experi- 
ence, record of creative achievement, significant 
engagement w/ experimental animation, experience 
w character and/or computer animation desirable. 
Send teaching philosophy, resume, sample reel, list 
of three references, SASE: Animation Search, Dean 
PCAD, The University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St., 
Philadelphia PA 19102. Deadline April 11, 1997. 

MONEY AVAILABLE TO FILM/VTDEOMAK- 

ERS Complete directory of grants, scholarships, fes- 
tivals, fellowships, residencies, contests, distributors, 
producers, agencies &. more. $15.95 to AJAR 
Pictures, 505 Boquest #B, Paradise, CA 95969; 
(818) 316-4203. 

TAPES WANTED for alternative venue video and 
film screening. Work o( all types, under 30 min. 
Please submit VHS tape by April 25 to 118 S. 5th 
Ave., Suite 110, Tucson, AZ 85701. For more info 
contact Beth, (520) 792-0313. 

WANTED: Set designer, camera person, make-up 
artist, sound 'light/props person, low budget sci-fi 
movie writer, stunts coordinator, graphics & anima- 
tion designer, editor, costume designer. Send 
resumes and reels to Brenda Diane Smith, 314 
Halsey St., Plainfield NJ 07063. (908) 561-7659). 

Preproduction • Development 

ATTENTION New Project Producers: Do you 
need help focusing your idea? Are you looking for 
professional feedback on your proposal; seeking 
advice in outlining a budget &. timeline.' Let us help 
you translate your idea into a workable plan. Call 
Lavine Production Group (212) 725-1965. 

LOOKING TO OPTION SCREENPLAY to be 

produced &. directed w/ European money on a low 
budget in & around NYC. Please send screenplays 
to: Streiffschuss Film 6k Video AG, 124 E. B'way, 
NYC, 10002. (212) 349-8747. 



54 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



POSTPRODUCTION 

$10/HR: VHS SUITE $20: 3/4"-3/4". $15: VHS 
3/4". Open 7 days & eves. Free titles, Amiga & spe- 
cial FX. Also: Hi8, A/B roll, S-8 aim, dubs, photo, 
slides, stills, audio, prod., editor/training. The Media 
Loft, 727 6th Ave. (23rd) (212) 924-4893. 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM delivered to you 
& installed: 5850, 5800, RM 440, 2 monitors, 
$500/wk, $l,600/mo. Delivery & installation incl. 
Equipment clean & professionally maintained. 
Thomas (212) 929-2439; (201) 667-9894. 

3/4" SONY OFFLINE SYSTEM W/TIMECODE 

9850 deck w/ timecode generator/reader, 9800 deck 
w/timecode reader, RM450 controller and two 13" 
monitors. Single deck rentals available for Avid 
users. Negotiable, low rates. (718) 284-2645. 

16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUNDTRACKS If 

you want "High Quality" optical sound for your film, 
you need a "High Quality" optical sound negative. 
Call Mike Holloway, Optical Sound Chicago, Inc., 
676 N. LaSalle St., Rm. 404, Chicago, IL 60610. 
(312) 943-1771 or eves. (847) 541- 



16MM CUTTING ROOMS 8-plate & 6-plate 
fully equipped rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr 
access. Downtown, near all subways & Canal St. 
Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM EDITING ROOM Great location, low 
rates. Fully equipped w/ 6-plate Steenbeck, 24-hr. 
access, in E. Village, safe & clean bldg. Daily, wkly, 
mnthly rentals. Call Su (212) 475-7186. 

16MM SOUND MLX only $75/hr! Fully equipped 
mix studio for features, shorts, docs. 16mm post ser- 
vices: picture & sound editorial, ADR, interlock 
screening, 16 mag xfers (.06/ft incl. stock), 16mm 
edgecoding (.0125/ft.). Call Tom (201) 807-0155. 

AVID 8000 & 1000 SUITES Pleasant, friendly, 
comfortable uptown or midtown locations or deliv- 
ered to your studio. On-line or off-line, AVR 27, 
Protools, reasonable & affordable rates. (212) 595- 
5002 or (718)885-0955. 

AVID AVR 75 SUITE! online/offline editing on 
Media Composer 3000. Bargain rates, swanky space 
conveniently situated at 39th and 5th. Beta SP & 
3/4" video, WVR500 waveform/vector, 3 9-gig dri- 
ves. Call (212) 354-0339. 

BRODSKY &TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. 
Reversal only. Regular 8mm, S-8, or archival 16mm 
to 1" or Betacam- SE We love early B&.W & 
Kodachrome. Scene -by- scene only. Correct frame 
rates. For appointment, call (508) 948-7985. 

COMPUTER GRAPHICS ARTIST Design & 
execute graphics for video & film projects. Also web 
site design. Fully equipped Mac studio. Good rates. 
View samples at http://users.tuna.net.rjacobs/ 
home.html; (212) 265-9561; rjacobs@tuna.net 

EDIT IN ALBANY, NY area. Fast video mach. 
computer w/ Sony SVO 5600-5800 SVHS, A/B roll 
offline/online. TC support, real-time f/x. Direct 
Internet link. $40/hr, $55/hr w/ed. Discount 
daily/wkly rates. (518) 276-8276; Info@focus 
web.com 




Production STILLS Limited^ 

■*■ * printed from your 

original camera negative 

A Division of 
Northeast Negative Matchers, Inc. 

Producers! Need a frame of your film in a STILL format? 
Promote your film! STILLS for ads, postcards or posters! 

25 Rivemew Terrace • Springfield, MA 01108-1603 
413.736.2177 • 305.940.8878 • 800.370.CUTS 





' Tu *i*tE& 



For more information, a resource guide and 
a copy of the video Best of Festival '96, contact: 

WPFVF • 46 Fox Hill Road, Bernardston, MA 

01337 • TL: 800 638-9464 • FX: 413 648-9204 

eM: info@wpfvf.com • www.wpfvf.com 

Sponsored by Sopris Foundation, Searchlight 
Films & Population Communications International 




• Digital Beta On-Line wl DVE 

• Component DV Transfers 
hi 



(We have the deck) 

Tape to Disk (Sy quest I Zip) 

AVID w AVR 75, Pro Tools, 36 Gigs 



Arc Pictures 666 Broadway 
Phone: 212 982-1101 



New York NY 10012 
Fax: 212-982-1168 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 55 



William Hohauser Productions 

Directing/Editing/Camera 

On-Line Non-Linear - Media 100 

Linear Editing Available too! 

Work done for: 

Cartoon Network: 1 995 Academy Award Nominated Short, 

Pay-per-View events, Warner Bros. Animation, 

Verve Records, PRSA, Coopers & Lybrand, 

r~*C=3s Madison Square Garden Network, 

*5*^ Tommy James and many others 

ESPY-TV, Inc. JE* 611 Broadwa v 

Multi-Camera Shoots M ,^ N «x^o ^i™ 

VHS Duplication /H\ (212)673-0899 




Reflex K-3 16mm 



Available in Super 16mm! 



Motorized! 

Crystal Sync Version 



Standard 
Wind-up Version 




just $1,319! just $569! 

fcLr > r J 



/ 



"Sophisticated optics, solid 
construction" - New York Timi 
"A steal at twice the money" 

- Jack Watson Moviemaker Magazine 




* 



The crystal sync K-3 camera comes 
with the standard set of accessories ( see 
description atright) and 17-69mmlens. 
The camera will run at 1 2, 24, 48fps at 
sync and with the addition of an Aaton 
style speed crystal control all speeds 
between 6 and 60fps are possible. With 
the addition of the sync motor the K-3 is 
the ideal camera for music videos, sec- 
ond unit, or stunt camera work, at less 
than the cost of a traditional crystal sync 
motor alone. Motormade i n USA 

National 

Sales 

Agent: 



All cameras come with a complete set of 
accessories including 1 7-69mm zoom lens, 
pistol grip, shoulderbrace, five glass filters 
(ND, UV, Light and Dark Yellow, #2 
Diopter), cable release, case, warranty, 
and more ! The camera utilizes a rotating 
miiTorreflexfinder,andanoperatingrange 
from 8-50fps with single frame. Made of 
solid aluminum construction and coated 
opucs.FindoutforyourselfwhytheK-3is 
the most popular camera in America. Call 



misa 



today for a free broch ure. 
LIGHTING & SUPPLY 



Tel: 305-949-880C 
Fax: 305-949-760C 



AVID EDIT SUITES 



Off Line 

On Line avr 75 

4 Channel Audio 
3-D Effects 
DLT Back-up 



\/oice over 



Boo 



tti 



AUDIO 

PRO TOOLS 

16-Track Digital Audio Suite 

Full Sound Design & Mixing 

Sound Effects Library 



on track video (212)244-0744 

104 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001 



FOREIGN LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS 

Terra Firma Media provides foreign language ser- 
vices for the motion picture & interactive media 
community. Translations, voiceovers, interpreters. 
(212) 477-0688; Imontalvo(& aol.com; 309 E. 4th 
St., NY, NY 10009 

IMAGINARI HOMELANDS© AVID media 

suite pro nonlinear editing for artists 6k indepen- 
dents. Online AVR 27 6k 26; offline AVR 2 6k 5; 
Beta-SP deck. Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; F train 20 
mm. from NYC. For rates call (718) 246-0744. 

INTERFORMAT OFFLINE SUITE (3/4", Hi8, 
VHS). Sony system in clean, spacious uptown loca- 
tion. VO9850/9800 w/ RM450, 2 13" monitors, Hi8 
& VHS. Rates: $12/hr, $85/day, $380/wk. Editor 
$15/hr. Dubs in 3/4", VHS, Hi8. (212) 316-3842. 

MEDIA 100 EDITING w/27 gig HD <§ $200/day. 

Adobe AttetEffects 6k Deckll Audio software. 
Source from Beta, Hi8 6k VHS, Audio from DAT, 
CD 6k cassette deck. Professional building on 
Bleecker 6k Broadway. Call Jay (212) 598-3035. 

MEDIA 100 PCI Broadcast quality, real time suite: 
Beta-SP Hi8, 3/4", VHS, 2nd Media 100 for render- 
ing, AtterEftects, Elastic Reality, PhotoShop, 
Illustrator, hi-res scanner. Short long-term TV or 
feature projects in comfy, low-key Tribeca setting. 
(212) 941-7720. 

MEDIA 100 top-of-the-Iine equipment, non-linear 
online editing suite at affordable rates, convenient 
21st & 5th location, NTSC/PAL BetaSR 300kb res- 
olution, 54 gigs, automatic back-up, AfterEffects, 
editots avail. Call (212) 253-9472. 

POSTERS Glossy or Matte, all selections to color. 
251 4" \ 37", 90grm paper. Everything possible, from 
yout design or instructions. $560 1st 1000, $360 ea. 
add. 1000 from same design. Call 011-525-530- 
0421, Independent Posters, Xochicalco #167, Apt 
, ■ #8, C.P 03020, Col. Narvarte, Mexico, D.F. 

Web 

ATTENTION FILMMAKERS Present yourself, 
your project, or your production company on the 
WWW. Qualitv web page design at affordable 
prices. http://www.Iogtv.com; grunbergt" logtv.com; 
(800) 274-4771. 



Ahoy, Ohio River Valley! 

The Independent Film & Video's 
next regional spotlight focuses on 

your area. If you live in Ohio, 
Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, 
Indiana or Southern Illinois, let us 

know what you current or future 

projects are. Or, if there are 
events, festivals, or media centers 

you think are doing great work, 

pass the word on. Send info to: 

The Independent, 304 Hudson St., 6 fl., NY, 
NY 10013, attn: Ohio River Valley issue. 



56 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



notices of relevance to aivf members are 
listed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and can make no guarantees about 
the number of placements for a given notice, 
limit submissions to 60 words and indicate 
how long info will be current. deadline: 1st 
of the month, two months prior to cover 
date (e.g., may 1 for july issue). complete 
contact info (name, mailing address & tele- 
phone numbers) must accompany all notices, 
send to: independent notices, fivf, 304 
hudson st., 6th fl, ny ny 10013. we try to be as 
current as possible w/ information but 
please double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

GORDON PARKS INDEPENDENT FILM 
AWARDS for achievement by black ind. filmmak- 
ers, introduced by IFFM in assoc. w/ Viacom Inc. — 
a collaboration of several divisions spearheaded by 
MTV Films and including Nickelodeon Movies, 
Paramount Pictures & Showtime Networks. Two 
winners in screenwriting and directing categories 
will receive $10,000 and have opp. to discuss dis- 
tribution w/ one of Viacom's divisions. 

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPO- 
RARY ARTS (UICA) announces call for entries 
for nat'l juried exhibition "Myth America." Exhibit 
invites works that explore the many myths con- 
tributing to American cultural identity; all media 
eligible. No entry fee. Dates for exhibition: Sep. 5- 
Oct. 17, 1997. Deadline for submission: June 2. For 
prospectus, contact: UICA-Myth America, 88 
Monroe NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503; (616) 454- 
7000. 

WRITERS WORKSHOP NATIONAL 
SCRIPTWRITING CONTEST accepting 
scripts. 5 to 6 winners will be chosen to receive 
$500 award. Winners also receive free tuition for 
critical evaluation of scripts before panel of motion 
picture agents, producers, writers 6k directors. 
Deadline: Ongoing. For submission info, send legal 
size SASE w/ 60<£ postage to: Willard Rogers, 
Writers Workshop Nat'l Contest, Box 69799, L.A., 
CA 90069; (213) 933-9232. 

Conferences • Workshops 

BOSTON FILM AND VIDEO FOUNDATION 

offers workshops, lectures, and seminars. For com- 
plete schedule, contact Felicia Sullivan, Education 
Director at (617) 536-1540; fax 536-3576. 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS 

offer seminars on "Copyright Basics," "Not-for- 
profit Incorporation and Tax Exemption," & more. 
Reservations must be made: (212) 319-2910. 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

ARC REGIONAL IV calls for entries in all media. 
Cash awards. Entry deadline: May 21. Juror: Ann 
Sass, Whitney Museum, NY. Artists must live in 
KY, IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, WI. Send SASE for 



prospectus to: ARC Regional IV, ARC Gallery, 1040 
W. Huron, Chicago, IL 60622. 

ASHLAND CABLE ACCESS seeks video shows. 
VHS, S-VHS & 3/4" okay, any length or genre. For 
return, incl. sufficient SASE. Send w/ description & 
release to: Suzi Aufderheide, Southern Oregon State 
College, RVTV, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 
97520; (541) 552-f: 



AUSTIN, TX ind. producer offering cable access 
venue to showcase ind. films & videos, all genres & 
subjects. Shorts & music videos linked by discussions 
on ind. films. Films/videos running longer than 40 
min. may be aired in series of 2 consecutive shows. 
Send release & info about film/filmmaker. 1/4" 6k 3/4" 
preferable. No payment, but credit 6k exposure. James 
Shelton, Tex-Cinema Prod., Box 3633, Austin, TX 
78764-3633; (512) 867-9901. 

AXLEGREASE Buffalo cable access program of ind. 
film 6k video, accepting all genres under 28 min., 
1/2", 3/4", 8mm, Hi8. Send labeled w/ name, address, 
title, length, additional info 6k SASE for tape return 
to: Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 
14201; (716) 884-7172, wheel@freenet.buffalo.edu; 
http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~wheel 

BLACK BOOT MEDIA PROJECT of Perry 
County Ind. Media Arts Center seeks ind. film 6k 
video works for regular series of roving screenings at 
various industrial, commercial 6k residential venues 
in Philadelphia 6k Harrisburg area. Submit S-8, 
16mm, VHS or S-VHS w/ SASE to: PCIMAC, Lower 
Bailey Rd, RR2-Box 65, Newport, PA 17074. For info 
contact: Jeff Dardozzi (215) 545-7884. 

BURLE AVANT curating "530 Lines of 
Resolution," digital video art night at Den of Thieves 
on Lower East Side in NYC. Video artists encouraged 
to submit works; no entry fee. Send NTSC VHS 
tapes under 15 min. by UPS or hand deliver to: 530 
Lines of Resolution, c/o The Outpost, 118 North 11 
St., 4th fl, Brooklyn, NY 1121 1; (718) 599-2385 

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS traveling exhibition 
and illustrated critical anthology about racial and 
sexual indeterminacy, fall 1999. Send slides, 
abstracts, resume or CV and SASE to: Erin 
Valentino, Dept. of Art and Art History, University of 
Connecticut, 875 Coventry Road U-99, Storrs, CT 
06269; (860) 486-3930; fax 486-3869; evalentino® 
finearts.sfa.uconn.edu 

DANCE ON VIDEO wanted for Spirit of Dance, 
live 1-hr monthly program covering all types 6k 
aspects of dance. Under 5 min. or excerpts from 
longer works. S-VHS preferred. Call producers at 
(508) 430-1321, 759-7005; fax: 398-4520. Contact: 
Ken Glazebrook, 656 Depot St., Harwich, MA 
02645. 

DONNELL MEDIA CENTER OF NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY accepting proposals for a video 
installation in street-level display window, to be 
exhibited Jan. 1998. The work must be silent. 
Deadline for proposals: April 30. Send to: David 
Callahan, Donnell Media Center, 20 W. 53rd St., 
New York, NY 10019; (212) 621-0624. 

DUTV-CABLE 54 progressive, nonprofit access 
channel in Philadelphia, seeks works by ind. produc- 
ers. All genres 6k lengths considered. No payment; 




will return tapes. VHS, S-VHS 6k 3/4" accepted. 
Contact: George McCollough or Maria Mongelli, 
DUTV-Cable 54, Drexel University, 33rd 6k Chesnut 
Sts., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895-2927. 

EMERSON STUDENT VIDEO FESTIVAL seeks 
tapes of all genres 6k lengths. Highschool, undergrad 
6k grad. students eligible; work must have been com- 
pleted by student while enrolled within last 2 yrs. Call 
Casey Benedict for info. (617) 824-8609; cbene- 
dict@emerson.edu 

FILMMAKERS UNITED nonprofit org., presents 
monthly film series at Silent Movie Theatre in Los 
Angeles. Year-round venue for ind. short films. To 
submit a film (must have 16mm or 35 mm print for 
screening 6k be no longer than 40 min.,) send a 1/2" 
video copy w/ SASE to: Filmmakers United, 1260 N. 
Alexandria Ave., LA, CA 90029; (213) 427-8016. 

FLOATING IMAGE seeks film/video animation 6k 
shorts for public/commercial TV program. Send VHS 
or SVHS to Floating Image Productions, PO Box 
7017, Santa Monica, CA 90406 (include SASE for 
return). (310) 313-6935; www.artnet.net/~float- 
ingimage 

GAY MEN'S HEALTH CRISIS seeks short videos 
(10 min or less) for Living With AIDS, half-hr maga- 
zine weekly seen in Manhattan, Queens 6k Brooklyn, 
produced by GMHC 6k NYC Dept. of Health. No 
budget for licensing programs, but opportunity to be 
seen by millions. VHS or 3/4" tapes (no originals) 
must deal w/ HIV/AIDS issues, or present person(s) 
infected/affected by HIV/AIDS in positive way. May 
not be sexually explicit. All tapes returned. Send to: 
Kristen Thomas, Living with AIDS Showcase of 
Independent Video, GMHC Multimedia Dept., 129 
W 20th St., NY, NY 10011; (212) 337-3655. 

HANDI-CAPABLE IN THE MEDIA seeks videos 
of any length about people with disabilities. Programs 
will air on Atlanta's Cable 12. No fees, however cred- 
it 6k exposure to large viewing audience. VHS pre- 
ferred, s-VHS, 3/4" acceptable. Sharon Douglas, 
Handi-Capable in the Media, Inc. 2625 Piedmont 
Rd. Suite 56-137 Atlanta, GA 30324. 

IN SHORT 1/2-hr program that airs bi-monthly, 
seeks submissions for public access show in NY. 
Preference given to works created w/. digital video. 
On every 4th program, work produced 1 by or featuring 
women highlighted. Works up to 28 min., submitted 
on VHS for preview, available in 3/4". Send sub. to: 
In Short, 240 East 27th St., Suite 17N, NY, NY 
10016; (212) 689-0505. 

INDEPENDENT EXPOSURE monthly screening 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 57 



AVID 8000/400 

ON-LINE/OFF-LINE 

: 3D Animation/After Effects 

ProTools Sound Editing/ Film Composer 

BBeta SP On-Line/AB Roll/ Dubs/Xfers 
Discount Rates For Independents 

SOLAR Productions 580 Broadwayf & Houston) 212.925.1110 



Broadcast Hi-8 
Beta Sp 

$2204400. 

COMPLETE ENG PRODUCTION PACKAGES INCLUDE: 

Camera in a backpack • tripod 

field monitor • power supply 

batteries • light kit 

lavalier & shotgun • all the cables 

Hi-8 to VHS window dubs too! 

"We understand independents because 
we are independents!" 



Bless Bless Productions 

212.242.3009 

e-mail: blessbless@aol.com 




* Experienced E&toi* 
% Digital Audio 

Wormtation 

* Mixing to DAT , 
*EtfeniiveSFX 
? ADR 

* Foley 
> J MOST COMPETITIVE 

RATES Hi 



M 




Hello World 

Communications 

50 West 17th Street 3rd fl 
New York City 10011 

212-243-<3600 

fax 691-6961 
bbb' 243-4567 




Cellular phones 
Walkie talkies 
Video equipment 
Audio equipment 
Digital • Hi8 video 



program seeks experimental, avant-garde, doc, nar- 
rative. Possible monetary remuneration. Submit your 
films and/or videos on 1/2" or 8mm video. Clearly 
label tapes with title, length, name, address &. phone. 
Include SASE if you wish tapes returned. Contact: 
Blackchair Prod., 2318 Second Ave., #3 13 A Seattle, 
WA 98121; (206) 282-3592; joel@speakeasy.org 

KHOU CHANNEL 11 CBS affiliate in Houston, 

TX, now accepting submissions for its upcoming 
variety program. All broadcast-quality videos, docu- 
mentaries, shorts, films, animation, performance, art, 
sketches, QuickTimes, etc. are eligible. All formats 
welcomed. Call (713) 268-1631. 

KNITTING FACTORY VIDEO LOUNGE seeks 
VHS tapes for on-going weekly series of theme -based 
screenings. Any genre or subject. Send tape w/ brief 
bio to: Joanna Spitzner, Box 1220 Canal St. Station, 
NY, NY, 10012. If tape return desired, include self- 
addressed envelope w/ sufficient postage. 

LAUGHING HORSE PRODUCTIONS Seattle- 
based company, is holding a screenplay contest. 
Winner awarded $500. Entry fee: $30. Possibility of 
having script optioned and sent to major agents, pro- 
ducers and directors. For more info, call: (206) 762- 
5525. 

IO BUDJIT FILMZ AND VIDEOS seeks submis- 
sions for VHS or Less, show focusing on camcorder 
movies. Embarrass old friends, showcase your dusty 
old tapes. Large bi-coastal audience. Send to: Lo 
Budjit, 147 Ave A, BoxlR NY, NY 10009; (212) 
533-0866. 

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION 

seeking story proposals from U.S. citizen or perma- 
nent resident minority filmmakers for National 
Geographic Explorer, award-winning doc series. To 
request appl. for CDP (Cultural Diversity Project), 
call: (202) 862-8637. 

NEW BREED FESTIVAL seeks student/ind. 
shorts-narrative only-for bi-monthly cafe screenings 
in Lambertville, NJ & on NJ & PA public access. 
Send 1/2" VHS + info w/ SASE to New Breed, 217 
N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ 08530. 

NORTH CAROLINA VISIONS series calls for 
entries. No entry fee. Contact: Anita Harris 
Alexander, NC Visions, Fayetteville/Cumberland 
Arts Council, Box 318, Fayetteville, NC 28302; 
(910) 323-1776; fax: (910) 323-1727; amend® 
foto.infi.net. 

OCULARIS: New screening room seeks 16mm 
shorts for regular screenings in East Village/ 
Williamsburg area of NYC, particularly by local film- 
makers. Please call or send SASE for info: Ocularis, 
91 N. 4th St., #3R, Brooklyn, NY 11211; (718) 388- 
8713. 

REAL TV looking for dynamic videos: news, weath- 
er, sports, bloopers, busts, "caught in the act." Real 
TV, syndicated, daily video magazine, will showcase 
compelling videos from around the world — from pro- 
fessionals as well as amateurs who capture video 
snapshots of life in the '90s. Tapes will not be 
returned. Contact: Real TV, Hollywood Center 
Studios, Stage 2, 1040 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles, 
CA 90038; (213) 860-0100. 

SAUCE GALLERY AND MOMENTA ART two 



58 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



alternative spaces in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, cur- 
rently accepting entries for on-going film/video 
series. Mission is to identify and exhibit compelling 
new work no longer than 30 min. All formats & gen- 
res. Submit in VHS w/ SASE & brief description of 
work to: Sauce Gallery, 173 A North 3rd St., 
Brooklyn, NY 11211; attn: Lisa Schroeder (718) 
486-8992 or Laura Parnes (718) 782-8907. 

SHOW YOUR SHORTS monthly NYC public 
access program seeks short films for lhr special to air 
this summer, first Sunday of each month at 4:30 pm 
on channerl 34. For more info and application, write 
to Catherine DelBuno, Box 987, New York, NY 
10011. 

THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE is accept- 
ing entries for its ongoing program, The Alternative 
Screen: A Forum for Independent Film Exhibition 
and Beyond. Send submissions on 1/2" VHS tape. 
Independent film, music video and new media pro- 
jects wanted. For more info, call (213) 466-FILM. 

TIGRESS PRODUCTIONS seeking 8mm or S-8 
footage of 42nd St.ATimes Square area from 1960s & 
70s for doc. All film returned, some paid, film credit. 
Contact: June Lang (212) 977-2634. 

TV-1 PRODUCTIONS seeking footage on Cuba 
for upcoming doc. Every aspect of life in the island 
welcome. Formats: Hi8, SVHS, 3/4", Beta, DVD, 
8mm & 16mm. Tapes returned. Payment negotiable. 
For more info, contact: Marcos N. Suarez, 2102 
Empire Central, Dallas, TX 75235; (214) 357-2186. 

TYME TOWER ENTERTAINMENT seeks fea- 
ture-length & short films for Ind. Filmmakers video 
series. 16mm, 35mm, B/W or color. Send 3/4" or 1/2" 
VHS copy to: Tyme Tower Entertainment, c/o Tyme 
Tower Home Video, 810 E. Coliseum Blvd., ste. 107, 
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1234; (219) 481-5807. 

UNQUOTE TV 1/2 hr nonprofit program dedicat- 
ed to exposing new, innovative film &. video artists, 
seeks ind. doc, narrative, experimental, performance 
works under 28 min. Seen on over 40 cable systems 
nationwide. No payment. Submit to: Unquote TV, 
c/o DUTV, 33rd & Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia, PA 
19104; (215) 895-2927. 

VIDEOSPACE AT DECORDOVA MEDIA 
ARTS ARCHIVE: DeCordova Museum & 
Sculpture Park seeks VHS copies of video art &. doc- 
umentation of performance, installation art & new 
genres from New England artists for inclusion in new 
media arts archive. Send for info & guidelines: 
Videospace at DeCordova, DeCordova Museum, 51 
Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773-2600. 

Publications 

APERTURE INC. new 501(c)(3) nonprofit corp., 
offers grant of $10,000 to first-time filmmaker shoot- 
ing a 5-30 min. film. For info on 1996 Aperture 
Grant, send SASE to: Aperture, 12335 Santa 
Monica Blvd., Suite 174, Los Angeles, CA 90025, or 
call (310) 772-8294. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE wants to know: Have 
you produced film, video or video disc on visual arts? 
Send info on prod, to Program for Art on Film 
Database, computer index to over 19,000 prods. 
Interested in prods on all visual arts topics. Welcome 




csv c le 

V' # 



We're a Full-Service Post- 
Production facility for the 
alternative filmmaker. We have 
an ADR/Foley Studio, AVIDs, 
AudioVisions, ProTools, and a 

high-speed, 8-plate, 
supercharged steenbeck. We 

provide creative editors, 
experienced technical support 
and expert post supervision at 

competitive rates. For more 

information, contact Jeanette 

King at (212) 679-2720. Or Fax at 

(212 679-2730. 

SPIN CYCLE POST, INC. 
■ 12 West 27th St., 6th Floor 
New York, NY 10001 



KITCHEN 
CINEMA 




MEDIA nonlinear on-line 



editing suite 



Ml 
at 



affordable 

rates 

NTSC 8c PAL Beta SP 

LX/300kb resolution 

63 £ig MicroNet Data Dock 

with automatic backup 

After Effects 
Editors available 



149 5" AVE ' NYC 
212 253 9472 



Video Duplication 



READY NEXT DAY- Mon-Fri 



3/4" U-matic & 1/2" VHS or Beta II Copies 

FROM 3/4", 1/2" VHS MASTER Add $25.00 per ONE INCH Master 

FROM ONE 20 MINUTES 30 MINUTES 60 MINUTES 1/2" VHS/Beta II 
MASTER 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 3/4" 1/2" 90 MIN. 120 MIN. 



One Copy $4.00 $4.00 $6.00 $5.00 



2-4 Copies 3.50 3.00 
5-9 Copies 3.00 2.50 
10-19 Copies 2.50 2.00 
1-4 RUSH Dubs. $8.00 
TC Burn In $10.00 

Window Dubs 5.00 

PRICES ARE PER COPY- STOCK 



5.50 4.50 

4.50 3.50 

4.00 3.00 

$1 1.00 

$14.00 
7.00 



$9.00 $8.00 $11.00 $14.00 

8.00 6.00 8.00 9.00 

7.00 5.00 7.00 8.00 

6.00 4.50 6.00 7.00 

$17.00 $22.00 $28.00 

$26.00 Inquire for LABELING 

13.00 & SHRINK WRAP 



NOT INCLUDED ASSEMBLY CHARGES ARE ADDITIONAL. 



EQUIPMENT: 3/4" Sony, 1/2" Panasonic 2 ch. industrial recorders and Grass 
Valley & Videotek distributors. Time base correction, optional, with Microtime 
and Tektronix equipment. TITLING & EDITING FACILITIES AVAILABLE 

3/4" & 1/2" EDITING Evenings & 24 Hour Access 
With and Without an Editor Instructions Available 
CHYRON TITLER AVAILABLE 
ONE LIGHT FILM TO TAPE TRANSFERS 
FILM STOCK, VIDEO TAPE, AUDIO TAPE, LEADER & SUPPLIES 

_r (212)475-7884 

814 BROADWAY V- 
NEW YORK; NY : fOOba 



April 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 59 




Sound Design / Original Music 



Pro Tools III / Media 100 



MERCER STREET 
1/1 



s 



DIGITAL AUDIO 
- PRODUCTION - 

for Film and Video 
and Multimedia 



Video Capture & Compression / Betacam Video Lockup 



Sound Effects / Voice Over & ADR 



Discount rates for independents 



133 MERCER ST. NYC 10012 • 212.966-6794 • E-mailmercerst@aol.com 



Revolutionary pffM 




SCHOOL 

with Dov S-S Simens 



If pu haven't 

Produced , directed or 

distributed an 

independent feature 

film,., 

„.Yoii haven't taken 

this course. 

...Spike & Quentin did! 



LOS ANGELES 

May 3-4 or Jun 21-22 

NEW YORK: Apr 5-6 

CLEVELAND: Apr 19-20 

DENVER: May 10-11 

ATLANTA: May 17-18 

WASHINGTON, DC: May 24-25 



Can't Attend? Can't Wait? 
Audio Film School™ Available 



$2% 



CYBERSPACE FILM SCHOOL™ 
http://HollywoodU.com 



HFLPO Box 481252, LA, CA 90048 



HOLLYWOOD 



800-366-3456 



INSTITUTE 



WHEN IT COMES TO 






WE ARE 
THE EXPERTS! 




NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 
CAROL A. BRESSI, Vice President 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 





OANCI^ TIL «/**»• 
WOSLD '2 <? 2TATFST H/kPP/ HOU« ' I 

6 -il . 
'u rut ecu vu t *i °*""- 



S- 16' 



Shoots ■ w«*Ps -ujoii-iooi • xfuctHL tectums- P»r«ir«c 
2 cloo«s- 'aoooH* 
gATCs inbiCS love - 5»>rci*LS &>*. sruofwrs 113 MfilCK. STREET. <n!-Y- C i2.ll- 




1UAS09 



info on prods about artists of color & multicultural 
art projects. Send info to: Art on Film at Columbia 
University, 2875 Broadway, 2nd fl., NY, NY 10025; 
(212) 854-9570; fax: 854-9577. 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMER- 
ICAN FILM & VIDEO organized by Int'l Media 
Resources Exchange seeks works by Latin American 
& US Latino ind. producers. To send work or for info: 
Karen Ranucci, IMRE, 124 Washington Place, NY, 
NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

MEDIA MATTERS Media Alliance's newsletter, 
provides comprehensive listings of New York area 
events 6k opportunities for media artists. For a free 
copy, call Media Alliance at (212) 560-2919 or visit 
their web site at http://www.mediaalliance.org. 

MEDIANET: Guide to the Internet for Video and 
Filmmakers. Available free at http://www.inft.net/ 
— rriddle/medianet.htm, or e-mail rriddle(5 infi.net. 

THE SQUEALER quarterly journal produced by 
Squeaky Wheel puts an upstate NY spin on media- 
related subjects. Once a year, The Squealer publishes 
"State of the State," a comprehensive resource issue 
w/ detailed info on upstate media arts organizations, 
access centers, schools 6k coalitions. Subscriptions 
$15/year. Contact: Andrea Mancuso, Squeaky 
Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201; 
http://freenet.buffalo.edu.— wheel/ 

Resources • Funds 

AVID FEATURE FILM CAMP seeks indep. fea- 
ture-length projects that need free nonlinear post 
prod, tacilities and asst. eds. on our Avid Media 
Composers. Students work as asst. eds. with credit on 
your feature and attend Avid authorized classes in 
exchange for free use of systems during the six week 
period. Four projects and four alternates will be 
selected. Send cover letter with into (script preferred, 
will accept outlines and treatments) to: Jaime Fowler, 
AFFC Director, Digital Media Education Center, 
5201 SW Westgate Dr., Suite 210, Portland, OR 
1 97221; (503) 297-2324; Fax (503) 297-2191; 
atfee dmec.com 

BOSTON FILM/VIDEO FOUNDATION seeks 
proposals tor fiscal sponsorship from ind. producers. 
No deadline or genre restrictions. Reviewed on ongo- 
ing basis. Contact BFVF for brochure: Cherie Martin, 
1126 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215; (617) 536- 
1540; fax: 536-3576; bfvftg aol.com. 

CREATIVE PROJECT GRANTS: Subsidized use 
of VHS, interformat 6k 3/4" editing suite for ind. cre- 
ative projects. Doc, political, propaganda, promotion- 
al 6k commercial projects not eligible. Editor/instruc- 
tor avail. Video work may be done in combination w/ 
S-8, Hi8, audio, performance, photography, artists, 
books, etc. Studio includes Amiga, special effects, 
A6kB roll, transfers, dubbing, etc. Send SASE for 
guidelines to: The Media Loft, 727 6th Ave., NY NY 
10010; (212) 924-4893. 

FREE MOVIOLA! Doc. company has moviola 
flatbed 6-plate w/ independent torque control that 
we are willing to donate to anyone who will come and 
get it. (212) 721-0919. 

ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL (IAC) SPECIAL 
ASSISTANCE ARTS PROGRAM: Matching 



GO THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



grants of up to $1,500 avail, to IL artists for specific 
projects. Activities that may be funded: registration 
fees & travel to attend conferences, seminars, or 
workshops; consultant fees for resolution of specific 
artistic problems; exhibits, performances, publica- 
tions, screenings; materials, supplies, or services. 
Funds awarded based on quality of work submitted 6k 
impact of proposed project on artist's professional 
development. Appls must be received at least 8 wks 
prior to project starting date. Degree students not eli- 
gible. (312) 814-6750. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE assists NYC artists & nonprof- 
it organizations in using state-of-art equipment, post- 
prod. & prod, facilities at reduced rates. Contact: 
Media Alliance, c/o WNET, 356 W. 58th St., NY, NY 
10019; (212) 560-2919. 

PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICA- 
TIONS provides grants for development of nat'l pub- 
lic TV broadcast programming by 6k about indige- 
nous Pacific Islanders. Appls available from: PIC, 
1221 Kapiolani Blvd., #6A-4, Honolulu, HI 96814; 
(808) 591-0059; fax: 591-1114; piccom@elele. 
peacesat.hawaii.edu. 

POLLOCK-KRASNER FOUNDATION gives 
financial assistance to artists of recognizable merit 6k 
financial need working as mixed-media or installation 
artists. Grants awarded throughout yr: $1,000- 
$30,000. For guidelines, write: Pollock-Krasner 
Foundation, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY 10021. 

RESIDENCIES supports US organizations to host 
artists 6k arts managers, known as ArtsLink Fellows, 
from Central 6k Eastern Europe. ArtsLink 
Residencies grants provide funding to cover the liv- 
ing, working, and materials costs for the five-week 
residency, as well as modest administrative expenses 
for the host organization. Grant amounts will gener- 
ally range from $4,000 to $5,000. Deadline for appli- 
cation: June 9, 1997. CEC Int'l, (212) 643-1985. 

SOROS DOCUMENTARY FUND supports ind. 
doc. film 6k video on human rights, freedom of 
expression, social justice 6k civil liberties. 2 levels 
considered: works-in-progress 6k preprod. seed 
money. Grant awards for recommended works-in- 
progress range up to $50,000, w/ average of $25,000. 
Awards for seed funds range from $10,000 to 
$15,000. Send proposals to: Diane Weyermann, 
Director of Arts and Cultural Regional Program, 
Open Society Institute, 888 7th Ave., #3100, NY, 
NY 10106. 

STANDBY PROGRAM provides artists 6k nonprof- 
its access to broadcast quality video postprod. ser- 
vices at reduced rates. For guidelines 6k appl. contact: 
Standby Program, Box 184, NY, NY 10012-0004; 
(212) 219-0951; fax: 219-0563. 

TEACHERS MEDIA CENTER dedicated to edu- 
cators interested in video technology as learning tool 
in the classroom. Latest project is setting up nat'l 6k 
int'l video pen pal exchanges; would like to hear from 
interested schools, individuals, or organizations. Also 
interested in creating nat'l network of educators 
interested in any or all aspects of growing multimedia 
6k media literacy movements in education. Contact: 
Teachers Media Center, 158 Beach 122nd St., 
Rockaway Beach, NY 11694; (718) 634-3823. 



JURAS GRAPHICS 

Animations 

You want it to look good and believable. 

We don't just simulate it We make reatitij. 

M.S.C.S degree (graphics) // all top pro equip incl. SGI 

Call (847) 265-8811 
On the Web: http://homepage.interaccess.com/~juras 



WARP SOUND 

N 

Audio Post Production 

for Film Video & Multimedia 

Scoring ~ Sound Design ~ Mixing 

1 Digital Audio Workstation 

Digital Signal Processing 

i\ L--J- — c 1 li ^ c?-rr\s t» j.1 • 



Sonification ~ Environments 
E Time Compression / Expansion 
Wildies ~ Spectral Morphology 
Granular Synthesis 

WARP SOUND EVC. 

611 BROADWAY 

NEW YORK CITY 10012 

TEL: 212-475-0114 

FAX: 212-475-0335 

■ id design: housner printing & design 212.594.4722 




The Outpost 

Edit on our Media 100 system for just $50 
per hour. That includes an operator, various 
tape formats including Beta SP, Macintosh 
and Amiga graphics, and the Video ToasterC 

7 18 - "5 9 9 - 2 3 SS 



1 18 North 



St . Brooklyn. NY. 11 2 11 



April 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 61 



NON LINEAR 
EDITING 




y 



o 



REAL TIME TRANSITIONS 



BROADCAST ONLINE 
3:1 TO 200:1 OFFLINE 



MULTI-LAYERING 



BETACAM SP EDITING 
HI 8 & 3/4SP — 3/4 AB 

ANIMATION & GRAPHICS 

DUPLICATION 

TRANSFERS from HI8 to BETA 



Phone (212) 219-9240 
Fax (212) 966-5618 



SURVIVAL 

ENTERTAINMENT 

MOTTO: 



WWWWWffWfTWWffff 




■ 



UUUUUUUUUM 



D.R. REIFF 
& ASSOCIATES 

ENTERTAINMENT INSURANCE 

BROKERS 

320 WEST 57 ST 

NEW YORK, NY 10019 

(212)603-0231 FAX (212) 247-0739 




-its the following Cameras 
Aaton Cameras 
-LTR7 

- LTR 54 
-XTR 

- XTR Plus 
All Arriflex Cameras 

-Arri S, SB, M 

-Arri16BL 

-Arri SR 1,2,3 

-Arri 2A,B,C 

-Arri 3C 

-Arri 35BL 1,2,3,4 
Bolex Reflex Cameras 

-Rex 1,2,3,4,5 
Eclair ACL 
Eclair NPR 
Cinema Products 

-CP16A 

-CP16R 
Krasnogorsk-3 
Reflex Lens Finders 
Many Others 



$599 



Each Universal Assist comes with the following: Black 
and White CCD compact video camera with auto iris; 
Optics and viewfinder coupling device; AC Power sup- 
ply; DC power cable (4 Pin XLR); BNC to RCAadaptor; 
Form fitted watertight hard travel case; Warranty. 

Color for only $799! 



ecifications: 

Source 
/Auto shutter 




Black and White CCD 
Yes ^ggk 

380 lines horizontal 
BNC connector 
12*D«pw^^ 
Combined power/vj 

Less than 290g. 






MKIA 



National 

Sales 

Agent: 




Llfjt 



'IN In & 



s fl m 5 



Tel: 305-949-8800 
■Fax: 305-949-760C 



the* 



Ininclenenclenl/v 

SEEKS EDnORIAL 
INTERNS 



The ideal candidate should crave 10 
hours per week oi hands-on 
experience in all areas of 
production — research, writing, 
editing, advertising, distribution, 
and promotion. 

Responsibilities include photo 
research, compiling classifieds and 
other notices, fact- checking, 
indexing, some writing, assisisting in 
desktop magazine production, and 
of course, clerical duties. 

You should be a good writer, love 
both independent journalism and 
filmmaking, and excel at doing 12 
things at once. If you're familiar with 
Macintosh systems and Quark 
Express, that's a major plus. 

We offer a stipend of $100 per 
month, a two-year subscription to 
the magazine, and a choice of three 
books published by the AIVF. You'll 
also get a flexible work schedule in a 
terrific office in SoHo, complete 
with cool coworkers. 

TO APPLY, RUSH YOUR RESUME AND 
COVER LETTER TO: 

Dana Harris, Managing Editor 
The Independent 
304 Hudson St., 6th floor 
New York, NY 10013 

email: aivffivf@aol.com 
fax: (212) 463-8519 

We're an equal-opportunity employer. 



62 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FTVF), 
Independent Video and Filmmakers (ATVF), supports a varie 
dent media community, including publication of The h 
and workshops, and an information clearing house. None of 
erous support of the AIVF membership and the following org: 

The Center for Arts Criticism, Consolidated Edison Company 
Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Video 
Affairs, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on 
Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. 




We also wish to thank the following individ 



organizational members: 



Sponsors: 

Ralph Arlyck, 
Julio Riberio, 




Qtuma 
(Vielli Productions 



Benefactors: Patrons: 

Irwin W Young Mary D. Dorman 
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte 

Business/Industry Members: 

Avid Technology, Tewksbury, MA; Blackside Inc., 
Productions, New York, NY; Creative Image Enterprises, 
Montreal, Quebec; Douglas German, Rothacken, New York, 
KC Productions, Inc., Aiken, SC; KJM3 Entertainment Groi 
NY; Joseph W McCarthy, Brooklyn, NY; Barbara Roberts, N 
Seigel, Esq., New York, NY; Telluride Film Festival, Telluride, 
Princeton, NJ; Video Utah!, Salt Lake City, UT; Washington 
Films, New York, NY; White Night Productions, San Diego, 

Nonprofit Members 

Access Media Art Center, New Haven, CT; ACS 
New York, NY; American Civil Liberties Union, New York, 
Community Access TV Ann Arbor, MI; Ann Arbor 
Armstrong, Brooklyn, NY; The Asia Society, New Y< 
Video, Athens, OH; AVFN International, Inc., Anchoi 
Washington, DC; Black Planet Productions. 
PA; Carved Image Productions, New York, 
Media, New York, NY; Chicago Video Pr< 
Columbia; Coe Film Associates, New York, 
Columbus Community Cable Acess, Columbj 
Films, New York, NY; MHCC Communical 
Denver Film Society, Denver, CO; State Unr 
Communications, Springfield, MA; Edison 
York, NY; Edwards Films, Eagle Bridge, 
Mansfield, OH; The Film Crew, Woodland 
Video, Milwaukee, WI; Idaho State Univi 
Cultural Programming, New York, NY; Int< 
NY; ITVS, St Paul, MN; The Jewish Mi 
San Diego, CA; Little City Foundatioi 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Ne 
Society, Mesilla, NM; Milestone Ente: 
Community Access, Missoula ME N 
Cente/KCET Los Angeles, CA; Natioi 
Resources, New York, NY; Neighborhood 
Productions, Las Vegas, NV; New Li 
Westbury, NY; 91 1 Media Arts Center, 
New York, NY; Outside in July, New Yoj 
University, University Park, PA; Pit 
Promontory Point Films, Albany, NY; 
Theater Lincoln, NE; F(oss-Gafney, 
Institute, Chicago, PL; Scribe Vide 
Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY; Strato Rims, 
Media Studies, Buffalo, NY; Swiss 
Ontario; Tucson Community 
University of Southern Horida, 
UMAB/School of Social Work M. 
of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; 
Video Data Bank, Chicago, PL; 




te of the Association for 
services for the indepen- 
Festival Bureau, seminars 
possible without the gen- 



. and Catherine T MacArthur 

City Department of Cultural 

Foundation, and Andy Warhol 



:, Inc., David W Haas, 
C. Stoney 

itain Films, Batesville, VA; CA 

ott, Minneapolis, MN; Films Transit, 

• Home Video, Los Angeles, CA; 

: Moon Productions, New York, 

^Sandbank Films, Hawthorne, NY; Robert L. 

Is, New York, NY; Paul Van Der Grift, 

irk, NY; TV 17, Madison, AL; Westend 

;WNET/1 Iff, NY; 




JfcuU 



Washington, DC; Alternate Current, 
Institute, Los Angeles, CA; Ann Arbor 
Arb or, MI; Appalshop, Whitesburg, KY; John 
few York, NY; Athens Center for Film & 
ictions, Yonkers, NY; Benton Foundation, 
iton, MA; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
rting, San Francisco, CA; Center for New 
A Film and Video Productions, Bogota, 
■us, OH; Columbia College, Chicago, IL; 
; Command Communications, Rye Brook, NY; Common Voice 
Gresham, OR; Community Television Network, Chicago, IL; 
iuffalo, NY; Dyke TV New York, NY; Eclipse 
Hfeey City, NJ; Educational Video Center, New 
Company; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Fallout Shelter Productions, 
hapelHign School, Pittsburgh, PA; Great Lakes Film and 
; Image Film Video Center, Atlanta, GA; International 
•ome, Rye, NY; International Film Seminars, New York, 
lex Studio Merdeka, Selangor, Malaysia; KPBS, 
ng Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; 
Centre, Adelaide, Australia; Mesilla Valley Film 
TX; Miranda Smith Productions, Boulder, CO; Missoula 
CA; NAMAC, Oakland, CA; National Latino Community 
Preservation, Los Angeles, CA; National Video 
'elphia, PA; Neon, Inc., New York, NY; New Image 
>hia, PA; New York Institute of Technology, Old 
ncil, Columbus, OH; One Eighty One Productions, 
ding Exchange, New York, NY; Pennsylvania State 
Filmmakers, Pittsburgh, PA; Pro Videographers, Morton Grove, IL; 
festival, Seattle, WA; Medina Rich, New York, NY; Ross Film 
Art Institute, San Francisco, CA; School of the Art 
Southwest Alternate Media Project Houston, TX; 
ce Institute, Los Angeles, CA; SUNY/Buftalo-Dept 
, NY; Terrace Films, Brooklyn, NY; Trinity Square Video, Toronto, 
AZ; UCLA Film and Television Archive, Los Angeles, CA; 
of A rizona, Tucson, AZ; University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI; 
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE; University 
uver, British Columbia; Veritas International, Elsah, IL; 
^rl^^H*:B|oba; View Video, New York, NY; West Hollywood Public 
Access, West Hollywood, CA; Wexner Center, Columbus, OH; Women Make Movies, New York, NY; 
WTTW/Chicago, Chicago, PL; York University Libraries, North York, Ontario; Zeitgeist Film, NY, NY. 






SONY, BETACAM SP CAMCORDER 
PACKAGE... $400 

SONY, PRO HI BAND 
PACKAGE... $200 

INCLUDED IN EACH PACKAGE: 

■ Light Kit plus Sun Gun w/Battery Belt 

■ Audio Kit plus Shore Field Mixer FP32 

■ Field monitor ■ Fluid tripod 

■ 

VHS-VHS PROFESSIONAL 
EDITING SYSTEM 

DO YOUR HI-8 AND BETACAM SP 
OFF LINE EDITING ON: 

JVC BR8600U to JVC BR8600U 
W/RM86U editing console... $10 per/hr. 

PEOPLE W/AI0S PROJECTS DISCOUNT 




Sunny 
Bright 
Clean 
Spacious 

Professional 



ifV. Media Composer WOO 

V off-iine & on-line 

I 

D Suite 



Style TV Productions, Inc. 
52 East 78th St., 9D 
N.Y., NX 10021 
212-717-4495 ask for Doug 




Fields 



Annual Membership Meeting 

The AIVF Annual Membership Meeting will 
he held Friday evening, April 18, at Anthology 
Film Archives, 32 Second Ave., NYC, at 6:30 
p.m. The meeting is open to all; AIVF members 
will receive a separate notice. 

MEET AND GREETS 

These are opportunities for members to meet 
producers, distributors, hinders, programmers, 
and others to exchange information in an 
informal atmosphere at the AIVF office. Free; 
open to AIVF members only. Limited to 20 par- 
ticipants. RSVP required: (212) 807-1400 
x301. Please leave name, phone number, and 
event for which you are making a reservation. 

Robert Seigel 

Attorney at Law, Cinema Film Consulting 
Cinema Film Consulting provides professional 
legal services to the media industry. Find out 
why legal counsel for independent films is 
important at all levels of production. 
Tuesday, April 8, 6:30 pm 

Sarah Eaton 

Executive Director, Publicity & Promotions 

Sundance Channel 

Sundance Channel is a new cable venture and 

three-way partnership between the Sundance 

Institute, Showtime Networks, and Polygram 

Filmed Entertainment. Eaton was formerly 

with Fine Line Features, the Museum of 

Modern Art, and the Brattle Theater in 

Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Tuesday, May 13, 6:30 pm 

Workshops 

Workshop: Digital Video Cameras 

This workshop will explore the new frontier of 
DVCs. See the new DVCs developed by 
Panasonic and Sony and participate in a hands 
on demonstration. Panelists currently include 
AIVF board member Bart Weiss. $10 fee. For 



more info contact Leslie Fields, (212) 807-1400 
x222. RSVP call (2 12) 807 -l 400x30 1. 
When: Thursday, April 24, 6:30 - 9:00 
Where: The Lighthouse, 111 E. 59th St., NYC 

Women and the Art of Multimedia (WAM!) 

A conference for media professionals and an 
international exhibition of multimedia work by 
and about women. WAM! will assess the posi- 
tion of independent women producers in rela- 
tion to new media, and provide women in the 
field with professional development opportuni- 
ties. AIVF members receive a $50 discount on 
registration fees. Contact: Terry Lawler at (212) 
673-5589; email: tlawler(a echonyc.com. 
When: May 29 - 31 in Washington, DC 

Salon Activities 

Writing for Television, Washington, DC 

Presented by Darryl Wharton, writer tor 

Homicide. 

When: April 8, 7:00 pm at Herb's Restaurant (see 

address under salon listing). Contact the DC 

Salon Hotline for more information. 

AIVF Festival Guide 
Errata & Updates 

Goteborg Film Festival 

The deadline is November 1 and not early 

December as printed in the guide. 

If you discover an error or change in our 
Festival Guide, please notify us so we can pub- 
lish it in the magazine and include the infor- 
mation in updates we publish periodically. 

Monthly Member Salons 

This is an opportunity for members to discuss 
work, meet other independents, share war sto- 
ries, and connect with the AIVF community 
across the country. Note: Since our deadline is 
two months before the meetings listed below, 
be sure to call the local organizers to confirm 
that there have been no last-minute changes. 

Albany, NY: 

When: 1st Wed. of each month, 6:30 p.m. 
Where: Borders Books & Music, Wolf Rd. 
Contact: Mike Camoin, (518) 895-5269 

Austin, TX: 

When: Last Monday of the month, 8 p.m. 
Where: Electric Lounge, 302 Bowie Street 
Contact: Ben Davis, (512) 708-1962 

Boston, MA: 

Call tor dates and locations. 

Contact: Susan Walsh, (617) 965-8477 



Brooklyn, NY: 

When: 4th Tuesday of each month; call for 

time 

Where: Ozzie's Coffeehouse, 7th Ave. & 

Lincoln PL 

Contact: Glenn Francis Frontera, (718) 646- 

7533 

Dallas, TX: 

When: 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7 p.m. 

Where: Call for locations. 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 823-8909 

Denver, CO 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Diane Markrow, (303) 449-7125 

Houston, TX: 

When: Last Wednesday of each month, 7 

p.m. 

Where: Call for locations. 

Contact: David Mendel, (713) 529-4185 

Kansas City, MO: 

When: Second Thursday of each month, 
7:30 p.m. 

Where: Grand Arts, 1819 Grand Blvd. 
Contact: Rossana Jeran, (816) 363-2249 

NYC 

When: 1st Mon. and 3rd Sun. of the month. 
Where: Pink Pony Theater, 176 Ludlow St. 
Contact: Jane Gang, (212) 254-5273 

Nonvalk, CT: 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Guy Perrotta, (203) 831-8205 

Sacramento, CA 

call tor dates and locations. 

Contact: Armond Noble, (916) 457-3655 

San Diego, CA: 

Call tor dates and locations. 
Contact:: Carroll Blue, (619) 594-6591 

Seattle, WA 

Call tor dates and locations. 
Contact: Joel Bachar, (206) 282-3592 

St. Louis, MO: 

When: Third Thursday of each month, 7 

p.m. 

Where: Midtown Arts, 3207 Washington St. 

Contact: Tom Booth, (314) 776-6270 

Tucson, AZ: 

Call for dates and locations. 

Contact: Beverly Seckinger, (520) 621-1239 

Washington, DC: 

Call tor dates and times. 

Where: Herb's Restaurant, 1615 Rhode 

Island Ave., NW 

Contact: DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 

x4. 



64 THE INDEPENDENT April 1997 




We do it all, from A to Z. 

• Post-production • Duplication 

• Customization • Distribution 



From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




/ F E A Ti7* "* 1 

mis 



VIDEO DUB INC. 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 




Prior scheduling required 

Contact Al Pierce for 16mm 

Steve Blakely for 35 mm 



DuArt Film And Video 

245 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 Tel. 212 757 4580 or 1 800 52 DU ART 

E-Mail: sales@duart.com 



1997 



$3.95 us $5.25 can 





4 FAMILY AFFAIR The Fi 




You've gof to make history... tomorrow. » 

And you need some great roofage and photos... yesterday. 

Maybe#we don't know what's in your head. Yet. Bur wifh 14,000 hours 

of stock foofage and 20,000,000 sfills, we probably have if. Cataloged, copyrighf- 

cleared and ready for you to use. With fhousands of images already available in digital 

formaf. |0ne less headache, righf?) 







St* 






■ 



* 







ffi 



I 



$ 



.11 



H> -■:<k%\ 



HUI 



Fax us on your letterhead for 

a free brochure and sample reel. And 

check our our on-line databases on 

Foofage.nef and on CompuServe. 




Your One Call To History: 

800-876-5115 



53Q W. 25th Street, New York, NY 1DD01 Tel. (212) 62D-3955 Fax (212) 645-2137 




DuArt Film And Video 

245 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 Tel. 212 757 4580 or 1 800 52 DU ART 

E-Mail: sales@duart.com ' 




^nAFI 



SONY 



Sponsored by 
Sony Electronics Inc. 



N 



For thirteen years, VISIONS OF U.S. 

has discovered a wealth of new creative 

talent in the premiere video contest of our 

time. This year it's your turn to create an 

original video production and have your work 

judged by video professionals - with the 

chance to win valuable Sony prizes. The 

contest, sponsored by Sony and 

^ administered by the American Film 

^f Institute, is an invitation to 

*^ express your vision- on 8mm, 

Hi8, Digital Video (DV), 

^* VHS, S-VHS, or VHS-C home 

« video. Just choose a 

category fiction, non- 

" fiction, music video/ 

* experimental, young 

fm people, or comedy -and 

0} start shooting. Submit 

your work by June 15, 1997 

and a distinguished panel 

of judges including Tim 

Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, 

Kathleen Kennedy, Scott Wolf, 

" Lisa Ann Walter, Malcolm Jamal 

O Warner, Michael Richards, Steve 

Oedekerk and Edward James Olmos will 

begin the judging process. You'll be in 

competition for an exciting selection of 

Sony video products, and everyone who 

enters will receive a bonus blank 

videocassette. To find out more, call 

Z13-856-7749. Or write VISIONS OF U.S., 

P.O. Box ZOO, Hollywood, California 90078. 



Hi 



© 1997 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony and Hi8 are trademarks of Sony. 



Put the Film Transfer SUPERstars 
a To Work For You. 1 



SUPER 

35mm 



SUPER 

16mm 



SUPER 



Count on our award-winning talent for SUPER TRANSFERS IN PAL + NTSC. 

Truly state-of-the-art work. On-time, on-target and within your budget. 

k Our SUPER transfers with DIGITAL RANK 4:2:2 take your project smoothly from one 
^ medium to another. From 35 MM ,16 MM, tape to tape, and slides — to D-l, 
D-2, D-3, Digital Beta, Beta SP, 1" and 3/4". 

L Call 212.243.4900 today for SUPER quotes. 
L (We'll gladly shoot a list of all our other capabilities to you too.) 



PrimeJime 



1 5 West 20th St ■ New York, NY 1 001 1 ■ Tel 21 2.243.4900 • Fax 21 2.675.0435 



I 



™^BH 



M month ly\7 

MAY 1 997 

VOLUME 20, NUMBER 4 

Publisher: Ruby Lerner 

Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 

Managing Editor: Dana Harris 

Assistant Editor: Ryan Deussing 

Contributing Editors: Luke Hones, Barbara Bliss Osborn, 

Roberto Quezada-Oardon, Robert L. Seigel, Esq. 

Art Director: Daniel Christmas 

Advertising: Laura D. Davis (212) 807-1400 x225 

National Distribution: Total Circulation (Manhattan) (201) 

342-6334; Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal Services 

Send address changes to: The Independent Film & Video 

Monthly, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 10013. 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) 
is published monthly except February and September by 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), a 
nonprofit, tax-exempt educational foundation dedicated to 
the promotion of video and film. Subscription to the maga- 
zine ($45/yr individual; $25/yr student; $75/yr library; 
$100/yr nonprofit organization; $150/yr business/industry) 
is included in annual membership dues paid to the 
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), 
the national trade association of individuals involved in 
independent film and video, 304 Hudson St., NY, NY 
10013, (212) 807-1400; fax: (212) 463-8519; indepen- 
dent@aivf.org; http:// www.aivf.org 

Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at addi- 
tional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address 
changes to The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 304 
Hudson St., 6th fl., NY, NY 10013. 

Publication of The Independent is made possible in part 
with public funds from the New York State Council on the 
Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, a federal agency. 

Publication of any advertisement in The Independent 
does not constitute an endorsement. AIVF/FIVF are not 
responsible for any claims made in an ad. 

Letters to The Independent should be addressed to the 
editor. Letters may be edited for length. 

All contents are copyright of the Foundation for 
Independent Video and Film, Inc. Reprints require written 
permission and acknowledgement of the article's previous 
appearance in The Independent. The Independent is 
indexed in the Alternative Press Index. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 1997 

AIVF/FIVF staff: Ruby Lerner, executive director; Brent 
Renaud, membership associate; Leslie Fields, membership 
coordinator; LaTrice Dixon, membership/advocacy 
Assistant; Jodi Magee, development consultant; Johnny 
McNair, information services coordinator; Leslie Singer, 
director of administration. 



Freedman, Esq., Leavy, 



AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert 
Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Carroll Parrott Blue, Todd 
Cohen*, Loni Ding (co-president), Barbara Hammer, Ruby 
Lerner (ex officio), Peter Lewnes, Cynthia Lopez, Jim 
McKay, Diane Markrow (secretary), Laala Matias*, Robb 
Moss (chair), Robert Richter (treasurer), James Schamus*, 
Norman Wang*, Barton Weiss (co-president), Susan 
Wittenberg (vice president). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



Features 



2 6 Going Mainstream: Self-Distribution to Multiplexes 

by Dan Mirvish 

When it comes to reaching mainstream audiences, 
Quentin Tarantino bestowed a good name on all 
independent filmmakers. Why the big theater chains 
may be interested in your self- distributed film, and 
how to claim one of their 21 screens as your own. 



2 9 The Reluctant Witness: Alan Berliner goes home again to 
document his father, who says his life is Nobody's Business 

by Mitch Albert 

How does a personal documentary maker explore family history if family members 
refuse to talk.' In Nobody's Business, Berliner met obstinence with obstinence. 





3 4 Ross McElwee's High Wire Act 

by Patricia Thomson 

Ross McElwee talks about The Six O'Clock News, his unusual deal with Frontline, his 
arduous writing process, and the trouble with first-person documentaries. 




4 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 



COVER: Alan Berliner (L) turns the 
camera on his father, Oscar, in his 
new documentary, Nobody's 
Business. Writer Mitch Albert talks 
to the director about the delicate art 
of using family members as subject 
matter. Photo D. W. Leitner, 
courtesy filmmaker 




8 Media News 



38 In Focus 



Martin Scorsese, Child Pornographer? 

by Max Alvarez 




It's Academic: George Eastman House School 
Preserves the Fine Art of Film Preservation 



5Y George Grella 



Northwest Airlines Screens Independent Film to 
Captive Audience 




by Scott Briggs 



16 Field Reports 

Berlin '97: Just Happy 
to be Here 

by Dana Harris 



Pick Your Pitch: Amsterdam's Forum for 
International Cofinancing of Documentaries 

by David Houts 

Miami Nice: Miami Film Festival Cracks Open 
Door to Indie Film and Video 

by Howie Movshovitz 



Not Worth the Gamble: 10 Misconceptions 
about Archival Rights & Clearances 



by Kenn Rabin 







B^£i'-;. x 


i 1 


ffiSsSHBiiv 


S& t m 






lr '.":"'- V-: '.':* 




'"-' ? 32S 1 




Bffill^v m 




•• W* i 


HKfv^H 



How to Turn Old Footage into 

Long-term Dividends: Stock Houses Seek the 

Beautiful and the Mundane. 



by Karen Kramer 




The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship: 
The Casablanca Nonlinear Editor 



by David Coleman 



50 Festivals 53 Classifieds 57 Notices 64 Memoranda-. 




We do it all, from A to Z. 

• Post-production • Duplication 

• Customization • Distribution 



From editing to broadcast and high volume VHS duplication 

to distribution - whatever your needs, Video Dub does it for you! 

So call us today, and get the whole job done. 




ms 



VIDEO DUB INC. 



423 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 757-3300 
235 Pegasus Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 (201) 767-7077 

A Video Services Corporation Company 

1-800-88-DUB-IT 



Dont miss the 
only market 
devoted 
to emerging 
American 
independent 
filmmaking 
talent! 




Th ^j 



"lete 






ent hlnd^ ...Plika 



e Penri« Ang el 



Film 



Sep 



tem 



ber 



14 



■21. 



199 



f n <len? 



Fe 



9tu re n 



Film 



Center 



M arket 



Presented by 
the Independent 
Feature Project 

For sponsorship infor- 
mation or submission 
application contact: 
IFP 

104 W. 29th St./1 2th fl. 
NY, NY 10001-5310 
tel: 212.465.8200 
fax: 212.465.8525 
e-mail: IFPNY@ifp.org 

Check out the 
IndieLink website for 
the most up-to-date, 
information on the,- '.. 
IFFM at www. ifp.org ., 

Filmmaker submis- 
sion deadlines: 

first: May 23/1997 if* 
Finab June 13,. 1997;'. 

Filmmakers::Submit£ 
e'arly and $~ i_ 
Also,' save; 



from Jnd'reLinK w.wub 

and submit on disk! 



Edited by Dana Harris 




New Porn Bill 
Fails to Define Its Terms 

There was a deafening silence from the 
media arts community when the Child 
Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 was 
signed into law last October by President 
Clinton. Section 2256 of the act specifically 
defines child pornography as "any visual depic- 
tion, including any photograph, film, video, 
picture, or computer or computer-generated 
image or picture, whether made or produced by 
electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sex- 
ually explicit conduct" involving minors. But it 
also identifies as child pornography instances 
where "such visual depiction is, or appears to 
be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit 
conduct." 

Since the act never defines what "sexually 
explicit conduct" is, it could, if taken literally, 
effectively ban the exhibition of films such as 
Adrian Lyne's forthcoming Lolita remake 
(which received an R rating from the Motion 
Picture Association of America in February) 
and clear video store shelves of Carrie and 
Animal House cassettes. 

The bill could also essentially ban anything 
in which the sexuality of actual minors is con- 
cerned. This latter move would spell trouble 
not only for most of Bernardo Bertolucci's 
major works but for films by Martin Scorsese 
(Raging Bull), Peter Bogdanovich (The Last 
Picture Show), Federico Fellini (Amarcord), 
Louis Malle (Pretty Baby), Milos Forman 
(Valmont), and Woody Allen. 

While the act, also known as S. 1237, was 
concealed within a massive spending bill (the 
Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act 
1997), it was hardly a well-guarded secret. 
However, the lack of public comment could be 
construed as a fear of appearing to support 
child pornography rather than a lack of support 
for free artistic expression. As a result of this 
silence from the arts community, the dissenting 



Martin Scorsese, 
Child Pornographer? 



Jennifer Montgomery's Art for Teachers of Children — a fiction 
alized account of the director's relationship with her photogra- 
phy teacher — could be banned hathaJhild Pornography Act of 
1996. Courtesy filmmaker 





voices come from the wicked stepsister of the 
film and video community — the adult enter- 
tainment industry. 

"This is an indefensible 
law," says Jeffrey J. Doug- 
las, a Santa Monica lawyer 
and chair of the Free 
Speech Coalition, the 
trade association of the 
adult entertainment indus- 
try. The coalition filed a 
suit on January 27 in San 
Francisco Federal District 
Court against Janet Reno 
and the U.S. Department 
of Justice for failing to 
challenge the unconstitu- 
tional aspects of the Child 
Pornography Prevention 
Act. 

"The law does not address anything to do 
with children," says Douglas. "It makes it illegal 
for an adult to play a role in which they engage 
in actual or simulated sex, when the character 
the adult is playing appears to be 17 years and 



Like arts advocacy 

groups, Hollywood 

and its powerful 

Motion Picture 

Association of 

America (MPAA) 

lobbying arm have 

declined to take any 

initiative against 

the act. 



364 days old." 

S. 1237 is the creation of senators Orrin 
Hatch (R-UT) and 
Joseph Biden (D-DE), 
who are, respectively, the 
chair and the ranking 
member of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee. 
Senators Dianne Fein- 
stein (D-CA) and 
Charles Grassley (R-IA) 
also helped draft the bill. 
But since these conserva- 
tive Republicans and cen- 
trist Democrats were 
unable to agree on how- 
far the bill should go, it 
stalled in the Judiciary 
Committee for two years. 
According to Douglas, 
the Justice Department never conducted an 
analysis of S. 1237 and the bill initially failed to 
gain widespread congressional support. 
However, Hatch also sits on the conference 
committee and was able to persuade that com- 



8 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



YOUR UBRARY 

HAVETHE 
INDEPENDENT? 

Take this coupon to 

your school or public 

librarian and request a 

subscription today! 



10 issues/yr. 
Library subscription rate $75 

Published by the Foundation for 

Independent Video and Film 

ISSN 0731-0589 

Order from FIVF, 

304 Hudson St., 6th FL, NY, NY 10013; 

(212) 807-1400x235 

EBSCO: (205) 991-6600; 

fax (205) 991-1479. 

FAXON (US): (800) 283-2966; 

CAN (519) 472-1005; 

CAN fax (519) 472-1072 







Mmm 



M 



H 



m 



•.-■• : ' 

■ .,-■■■■•■ 

■■"■■■■■''■'■■ 
■■-''■ 




ORDER THESE BOOKS FROM FIVF 

NEW EDITIONS - ORDER NOW! 

The ATVF/FTVF Guide to International Film & Video Festivals 

by Kathryn Bowser. $29.95 AIVF members; $34.95 others 



The AIVF/FIVF Guide to Fim & Video Distributors 

by Kathryn Bowser $19.95 AIVF members; $24.95 others 



The Next Step: A Film and Video Distribution Handbook 

Morrie Warshawski, ed. $19.95 AIVF members; $24-95 others 



Order all three and save! 

$59.95 AIVF members; $74.95 others $ 



Alternative Visions: Distributing Independent Video in a 
Home Video World by Debra Franco; $9.95 AIVF members; 
$12.95 others $ 

Film and Video Financing by Michael Wiese; $22.95 $ 



Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to 
Screen by Steven D. Katz; $24-95 $ 

Home Video: Producing for the Home Market by Michael 
Wiese; $11.95$ 

The Independent Film & Videomakers Guide by Michael 
Wiese; $13.95 $ 

The RO.V. Online Experiment by Don Adams &. Arlene 
Goldbard; $5.00 incl. postage Ck handling $ 

Shaking the Money Tree: How to Get Grants and Donations 
for Film and Video bv Morrie Warshawski; $24-95 $ 

ige/handling: US ■ $3.50 1st book, $1.00 ea. addl; 
Foreign - $5.00 1st book, $1.50 ea. addl $ 

TOTAL $ 



Make checks payable to FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., 
NY, NY 10073; or charge by phone: (212) 807-1400 x 235 
or fax: (212) 463-8S19. 




mittee to pass S. 1237 and attach it to the 
spending bill just days prior to the Clinton 
signing. The Hatch-Biden bill then went to the 
House and Senate, where last September 
Biden attempted — and failed — to amend sec- 
tions of the bill he felt were too excessive. 

Speaking to Clinton from the Senate floor, 
Biden voiced concerns about the act's mini- 
mum 10-year and maximum 20-year prison 
sentences for first-time offenders. He also 
objected to the restrictions on persons over 18 
portraying what appear to be sexually active 
minors. However, his speech came too late for 
the controversial portions of S. 1237 to be 
amended. The act had already been attached 
to the spending bill, and Congress was not will- 
ing to vote down an entire omnibus bill in 
order to appease those concerned about cer- 
tain contents of the Child Pornography 
Prevention Act. 

Co-plaintiffs with the Free Speech Coalition 
in the lawsuit against the Justice Department 
are Bold Type, Inc., (publishers of California 
Guide to Nude Beaches), erotic photographer 
Ron Raffaelli, and South Hamptons painter 
James Gingerich, who specializes in large-scale 
landscapes and nudes. The suit was filed by H. 
Louis Sirkin, the civil rights attorney who suc- 
cessfully defended Dennis Barrie of 
Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center 
against obscenity charges brought in connec- 
tion with Robert Mapplethorpe's "The Perfect 
Moment" photo exhibit in 1990. 

Sirkin's nine -page complaint called for the 
Justice Department to halt enforcement of S. 
1237 on the grounds that it was unconstitu- 
tional. "The language in the bill is entirely con- 
trary to the Supreme Court's Ferber decision in 
New York," says Sirkin of the 1982 case New 
York vs. Ferber, in which the high court made 
child pornography exempt from First Amend- 
ment protection. "My hope is that the uncon- 
stitutional provisions will be eliminated by the 
courts." 

At press time, Sirkin and the Free Speech 
Coalition were awaiting a response from the 
Department of Justice. "It's been very frustrat- 
ing trying to find out who in the Justice 
Department was handling the lawsuit. The left 
hand didn't know what the right hand was 
doing," says Sirkin. 

The four plaintiffs have found themselves 
fighting a lonely battle. Like arts advocacy 
groups, Hollywood and its powerful Motion 
Picture Association of America (MPAA) lob- 
bying arm have declined to take any initiative 
against the act. Douglas believes the industry 




pictures soun 



Post-production service 
for the Independent Filmma 



Pro Tools / Sound editing & mixing / ADR / Foleys / Synching 
Avid / Medial 00 / D Vision / After Effects / Off-line / On-line 
Digital title design & 3D animation. \ e \ 




Lynn Hershman 
Laurel Chiten 
Jane Gillooly 




Tape-to-Film Transfers . 

Call the Film Craft Lab. OurTeledyne CTR-3 uses 
high grade precision optics and is pin-registered for 
a rock steady transfer and superior results. 
A few of our satisfied clients include: 



"Virtual Love" 
"Twitch and Shout" 
"Leona's Sister Gerri" 



We offer a two-minute MOS 16mm color demo at no charge 
from your videotape. 



For Exceptional 

Processing & Printing . . . 



We've been processing and printing motion picture film for over 
25 years, so we understand the challenges of the independent 
filmmaker. We're a full-service film laboratory and one of the 
few labs that still processes black & white film. For professional 
lab services, call us first. 

• Daily Processing 

• Black & White Processing & Printing - 1 6mm & 35mm 

• Color Processing & Printing - 1 6mm & 35mm 

• Black & White/Color Reversal Processing & Printing 

• Camera Raw Stocks 

• Rank/da Vinci Film-to-Tape Transfers 

• Video Duplication 



THE FILM CRAFT LAB 

A DIVISION OF 

Grace & Wild ^yfl&famarai 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 3 



has unofficially entrusted the adult entertain- 
ment representatives with challenging the 
Hatch-Biden law because of its strong anti- 
child pornography credentials in recent 
decades. 

"The studios are just sort of crossing their 
fingers and holding their breath and assuming 
their enormous economic clout and cultural 
importance would protect them from the 
enforcement of this incredibly asinine law," says 
Douglas. "It's sad that the reality is that pro- 
ducers who are deeply affected by this are rely- 
ing on their distaff cousins to do their work for 
them." 

Douglas reports a cryptic leak from Sen. 
Hatch's staff suggesting that "legitimate main- 
stream films would not be at risk of censorship," 
Douglas says he understands that to mean films 
submitted for an MPAA rating are exempt from 
the law. However, that's a qualification many 
independent films fail to meet. 

One independent filmmaker who found her- 
self unwittingly drawn into the censorship issue 
is Jennifer Montgomery, whose autobiographi- 
cal 1995 film Art for Teachers of Children dealt 
with an affair between a 14-year-old girl and 
the adult male teacher who photographs her in 
the nude. Although the girl in Montgomery's 
film is played by an actress of legal age (Caitlin 
Grace), the film clearly would not hold up 
under the existing Hatch-Biden law. 

Montgomery says that when she screened 
her film, she was often asked to comment on 
pending child pornography cases and invasion 
of privacy issues. "I was called upon to give a 
legal opinion, in a sense," says Montgomery. "I 
became less conclusive in my own views than 
before. I saw a lot of polarization going 
on. ..people looking to me to give them some 
kind of closure, which is exactly the opposite of 
what I presented in the film. I initially made the 
film as a response to what I saw was a conflation 
of what was going on with a lot of artists [fac- 
ing censorship]." 

As to the potential effects of the Hatch- 
Biden bill, Montgomery believes artists habitu- 
ally react to intimidation tactics by becoming 
even more outrageous in their work. "This is 
really something that will push them farther, 
even to the margins." 

Max J. Alvarez is a Washington, D.C., writer who wrote 

about the state of arthouse exhibition in the 

Janiiary/Febnuiry issue. 



It's Academic: 

George Eastman House School 

Preserves the Fine Art of 

Film Preservation 

Film buffs and wine lovers share a considerable 
amount of common ground: in addition to a 
fondness for foreign products, both often claim 
that the old stuff is the best. But when it comes 
to film, there's one aspect that doesn't age well: 
the stock on which it's printed. 

Only recently did the filmmaking communi- 




House School, the first school to offer a certificate 
program in film preservation. Courtesy George Eastman House 



ty come to terms with just how delicate cellu- 
loid can be. Already, the American Film 
Institute (AFI) approximates that 85 percent of 
silent films and almost half of all films made 
before 1950 — when they were shot on more- 
fragile nitrate stock — have shrunk, cracked, 
and become gummy from lack of proper care. 

If neglect has had a positive side effect, it's 
that America currently appears to be trying to 
make up for lost time. The Museum of Modern 
Art (MoMA), long a pioneer in collecting and 
honoring film, opened a 36,000-square-foot 
storage and preservation center in Hamlin, 
Pennsylvania in 1996. The $11.2 million facili- 
ty is dedicated to the preservation, storage, and 
cataloguing of the museum's more than 13,000 
films, with titles that date back to Thomas 
Edison's 1894 Kinetoscopes. Congress now des- 
ignates some titles as national treasures and has 



even authorized expenditures for preserving 
films. And the AFI is currently conducting 
an informational campaign to solicit funds 
for preservation. 

However, the most encouraging sign in the 
fight against decaying celluloid is the estab- 
lishment of the George Eastman House 
School of Film and Video Preservation 
(GEHS). The first school to cover film 
preservation theory, philosophy, and method- 
ology as well as film programming, manage- 
ment, and copyright, GEHS was created by 
the George Eastman House and Interna- 
tional Museum 
of Photography 
and Film in 
Rochester, New 
York, with a 
grant from the 
Louis B. Mayer 
Foundation. 

"The window of 
opportunity for 
restoring early 
films grows 

smaller each 
year," says An- 
thony Bannon, 
the museum's 
director. "We feel 
an imperative to 
share our knowl- 
edge with the 
international 
film community." 
Until now, the 
process of film 
preservation has 
rarely been codified into a formal education. 
"Around the world, film and sound archiving 
is maturing from the do-it-yourself, learn-on- 
the-job vocation of the past, into a recog- 
nized and formal discipline," says Ray 
Edmondson, deputy curator of the National 
Film and Sound Archive of Australia. "The 
program prepares students for the broad 
spectrum of curating and archiving, not only 
exposing them to chemistry and technology 
but to almost any possibility within the area 
of museum work in film." 

The initial admission was small, with just 
10 students registering for the two-semester 
certificate program last fall. However, they 
came to Rochester from points as disparate as 
California and Spain, and school co-director 
Paolo Cherchi-Usai says that number is 
bound to grow. 



10 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



"The George Eastman House program is the 
only one of its kind," says Cherchi-Usai, who is 
also the museum's senior curator of motion pic- 
tures as well as an associate professor of film 
studies at the University of Rochester. "The 
International Federation of Film Archivists 
conducts short courses irregularly in London 
and Berlin, and the University of East Anglia 
offers a degree in film archiving, but we offer 
academic training that prepares students to 
work not only in laboratory and technological 
areas, but in a broad range of positions." 

Cherchi-Usai and Grant Romer, the muse- 
um's director of conservation and museum 
studies, head a visiting faculty from both the 
United States and abroad. Lecturers have come 
from the UCLA Film and Television Archive, 
the Library of Congress, the Haguefilm 
Archives in Amsterdam, and the British Film 
Institute. 

In classroom and laboratory environments, 
students learn archival theory, methods, and 
practice; documentation and cataloguing; and 
the physical treatment, conservation, and 
restoration of film and video. Under the direc- 
tion of a faculty member, each student also 
works on a final project involving some aspect 
of film or video handling, condition analysis, 
preservation planning, and laboratory process. 

The program's admissions requirements 
specify only an undergraduate degree and apti- 
tude for the program. However, visiting lectur- 
er Stephen Higgins, a curator of MoMA's film 
collection, reports being deeply impressed by 
the background of the students. "They dis- 
played a knowledge of film history, criticism, 
and theory as well as the usual archival mat- 
ters." While some students intend to take up 
curatorial positions or are museum curators 
whose institutions are beginning to collect and 
display moving image artifacts, Higgins believes 
the program can prepare students for archiving 
positions beyond the museum world, including 
Hollywood studios and television networks. 

Cherchi-Usai says he hopes to eventually 
expand the program into a full-fledged academ- 
ic entity that grants master's degrees in film 
archiving and preservation, possibly by drawing 
on the resources of the Rochester Institute of 
Technology and the University of Rochester. 
Establishing a formal degree program could also 
serve to maintain awareness about film preser- 
vation once American Movie Classics no 
longer runs public service announcements 
alerting the public that classic films are cur- 
rently turning to dust. 

Meanwhile, GEHS devotes itself to investi- 



ICAN MONTAGE INC 



Award Winning Clients And 
Productions at Reasonable Rates 



A V 



9 & 4 

Film & Video Production 

Post-Production Specialists 

Time Coded Duplication 

Hi-8, VHS, 3/4SP, Betacam SP 
Editing & Dubbing 

Mac Graphics & Digital Effects 



375 West B'way 3R, NY, NY 10012 

3 3 4-8283 




Why spend a fortune to shoot smooth shots, 
when you can own a Glidecam V-16 or V-20. 

The GLIDECAM V-16 stabilizes cameras weighing from 
10 to 20 pounds. The GLIDECAM V-20 stabilizes 
cameras weighing from 15 to 26 pounds. Both Systems 
come complete with Support Vest, Dyna-Elastic™Arm, 
and Camera Sled. "Leasing to own" is available 
Call Glidecam Industries, Inc. today, you'll be blown away 
by our full line of Camera Stabilizers and our low prices. 

We also offer the Glidecam 1000 Pro, Glidecam 3000 Pro, and 
Glidecam Duat-G hand-held camera stabilizers, the CamcranelOO 
boom-arm camera crane, and the Glidecam Body-Pod for use 
with either the Glidecam 1000 Pro. or the Glidecam 3000 Pro. 



1-800-949-2089 or 1-508-866-2199 

or reach us at http://www.glidecam.com 



Glidecam is Registered at the PATENT and TM office. 




Betacam SP production packages 

Avid MCBOOO & MC10DO on/off-line editing 

component Betacam SP on-line editing 

Microtime Paint F/X DL graphics 

Macintosh graphics & compositing 

component HiB transfers 

Betacam SP, 3/4" SP, HiB & VHS duplication 

25' x 30' stage 

212.52S.S204 

DVBVIDEfl/738 BRORD WR V N V C 10003 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 11 




L 



Som • Sneer. Swmm 



High Budget • Lo Budget 
No Budget 

Fast • Accurate 
Professional Turnaround 

Producer • Director • AD 
Team 



/^TLAfmC T^CTURES 

212-460-8888 • 413-528-9193 



WHEN IT COMES TO 



J 



L 



iMWIlSI 



lit Hill 



WE ARE 
THE EXPERTS! 




NEW YORK 

420 LEXINGTON AVENUE 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10170-0199 

TEL: (212) 867-3550 • FAX: (212) 983-6483 

JOLYON F. STERN, President 
CAROL A. BRESSI, Vice President 



AFFILIATES IN: LONDON • PARIS • MUNICH 



12 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



gating the chemistry behind the deterioration 
of photographic stock, and the various methods 
of prevention, preservation, and cure in semi- 
nars like "Vinegar Syndrome and the 
Microenvironment." It seems that good films, 
like fine wines, can also turn to vinegar. 

George Grella 

George Grella is a professor of English and film studies 

at the University of Rochester and is the film critic for 

City Newpaper and WXXl-FM, both in Rochester. 



Northwest Airlines Screens 

Independent Film 

to Captive Audiences 

It may be the perfect exhibition program: film- 
makers are virtually guaranteed that, no matter 
how unusual, unconventional, or provocative 
their work is, no audience member will walk 
out. This foolproof screening plan is 
Independents in Flight, a new entertainment 
option on international Northwest Airlines 
flights that comes courtesy of the airline and 
the Independent Feature Project (IFP/North). 

Each month, Northwest offers a different 
four-hour block of independently produced fea- 
tures, shorts, documentaries, and animated 
works in first and business-class seating sec- 
tions, which are equipped with personal view- 
ing devices. 

Northwest launched Independents in Flight 
in February in response to the fact that more 
traditional in-flight entertainment are increas- 
ingly available in other venues. "What we 
[were] showing on board can really be seen 
anywhere," says Dean Haehnel, Northwest on- 
board communications manager. "[Passengers] 
go to their hotel and see the same movies." 

The Minneapolis-based IFP/North is cur- 
rently accepting submissions of any genre, 
length, or format on an on-going basis for the 
program. Although Northwest retains final 
approval rights — and, in tact, has vetoed at 
least one IFP selection — programmer Christine 
Walker insists she's been given relatively free 
rein to choose what she considers worthy. Her 
only directive is to avoid material about air dis- 
asters. Otherwise, she says, "the field is wide 
open." 

Unlike films shown in other seating sections 
and projected on screens visible to many pas- 
sengers, the Independents in Flight films are 
not edited for content. "Given the limited audi- 
ence and the other options they have available, 
[Northwest] feels comfortable putting on a 



Hayden 

Grooms' Family 
Tree may be the 
first student 
film to screen 
at 35,000 feet. 
Courtesy 
filmmaker 




variety of films with different subject matter 
that might even be controversial," says 
Walker. 

Filmmakers selected fur Independents in 
Flight receive a $15-per-minute honorarium 
for their work. The real reward of being 
included in the program, however, is the ease 
with which an artist can reach a previously 
remote audience. 

"So many people are flying on these 
flights, probably thousands of them in one 
month, but you don't have the cost of sup- 
porting a huge venue like a theater," says 
Hayden Grooms, whose Family Tree, a docu- 
mentary about his return to Ottumwa, Iowa, 
to investigate a murder in his family's past, 
was included on the inaugural Independents 
in Flight bill. "I was happy to know that 
someone from Paris or Cairo or wherever 
Northwest flies might watch not only an 
American independent film but a film that 
takes place in a small Midwestern town. It's 
not your normal New York or Los Angeles 
story. I thought this would be an interesting 
slice of America for an international traveler 
to see." 

Julia Wolfe, IFP program associate, agrees. 
"Normally you see Cor\go." 

To submit work for Independents in 
Flight, filmmakers must provide a VHS copy 
of a finished work, plus press materials. 
Contact Christine Walker at (612) 338-0871 
for more information. 

Scott Briggs 

Scott Briggs is a freelance writer in Minneapolis. 

ITVS Moves to San Francisco 

On Match 10, the board of directors 
announced that the Independent Television 
Service (ITVS) will relocate its offices to the 
San Francisco Bay Area by mid-summer. 
ITVS has been based in St. Paul since it was 



In the heart of Texas you'll find 
the heart of the movie industry. 

Call for a free brochure, price list and screen credits. 214/869-0100 







* • -N^bbg^' 




When you finish 

shooting for the day, 

that little tin can contains 

more than film.. .it contains 

your heart and soul. At Allied Digital 

Technologies we understand that. Which is 

why since 1 982 hundreds of feature films, V.' 

commercials and music videos have been trusted to 

Allied for processing. In fact, we're one of the few labs 

in the country to consistently receive an excellent 

quality rating from Eastman Kodak. To maintain our 

standard of excellence we continue to stay on the 

cutting edge of today's technology. 

• All This and More Under One Roof • Package Pricing Available • 16mm/Super 16rnm/35mm Camera 
Original Overnight Processing & Dailies • 16mm/35mm Mixing Facilities • Complete with Video SSL Screen Sound. 

Foley, Editing • Rank Transfer Service- to D-2, Digital Betacam, 1" Type C, Betacam, Betacam SP, 3/4", S-VHS 

with Nagra-T Sync Capabilities. 3/4" SP, 1/2" VHS, or Beta (Including Interlock Transfer) 

• Video Dailies from 35mm, 16mm, and Super 16mm, with KEYKODE TLC Edit Controller, Flex File & Key Log 



We provide the best in 
video and audio duplication, 
CD& CD-ROM replication, 
fulfillment and distribution 
services... all under one'W roof. Providing you with 
an original image of unsurpassed quality is our main 
goal. Whether it's for a feature, commercial, CD- 
ROM, DVD or HDTV project, Allied has the people 
and experience to meet your demanding standards. 
So wherever you're shooting today, remember 
we're only a short flight away in the heart of Texas. 



EASY ACCESS- Over 3000 flights in & out of Dallas daily 



AIUED 

fliiHm Lmmiiiii Lu 



E-Mail at Txtbifa@allied.mhs.compuserve.com or 

6305 N. O'Connor Rd. Suite 111, Irving, TX 75039-351 Fax(21 4) 869-21 1 7 







■1^ ■■■H 


I 


* P ' n 


c|y c lie- , 




We're a Full-Service Post- 
Production facility for the 
alternative filmmaker. We have 
an ADR/Foley Studio, AVIDs, 
AudioVisions, ProTools, and a 

high-speed, 8-plate, 
supercharged steenbeck. We 

provide creative editors, 
experienced technical support 
and expert post supervision at 

competitive rates. For more 

information, contact Jeanette 

King at (212) 679-2720. Or Fax at 

(212 679-2730. 

SPIN CYCLE POST, INC. 

■ 12 West 27th St., 6th Floor ■ 

New York, NY 10001 


1 


^H ^hJ 



JUDGrE Us By the 

Collections 

"We Keep 




Smithsonian 

Institution 

The film collection 
from the great cultural 
institution's Office of 
Telecommunications. 



Panthera 

Productions 

400 hours of film 
from this Emmy 
award winning 
production company. 




Aviation 



Hearst 

Historical 

One of the premier 
historical collections 
dating back to the 
turn of the century. 



Pan Am 

Collection 

Travelogues, industrials, 
commercials, and 
aviation history from 
1928-1980. 




§J£ 500 

"" Nations 



Incredible scenic 
beauty from the epic 
CBS miniseries hosted 
by Kevin Costner. 



Wescajm 



New York • Paris • Tokyo 
Barcelona • Tel Aviv 
Hong Kong • Stockholm 
Seoul • Stuttgart • Osaka 




'I'M .: 
I \x: 



perspectives 
from the manufacturer 
of the world's most 
advanced camera mount. 



coll for free Demo: 
(2X2) 799-9100 
(212) 799-9258 



THE WORLD'S GREATEST LIBRARY FOR CONTEMPORARY & ARCHIVAL STOCK FOOTAGE 



WARP SOUND 

Audio Post Production 
for Film Video & Multimedia 

Scoring ~ Sound Design ~ Mixing 

Digital Audio Workstation 

Digital Signal Processing 

Audio Sculpting ~ SFX -Resynthesis 

Sonification ~ Environments 

Time Compression / Expansion 

Wildies ~ Spectral Morphology 

Granular Synthesis 

WARP SOUND INC. 

611 BROADWAY 

NEW YORK CITY 100:12 

TEL 212-475-0114 

FAX: 212-475-0335 

ad design.- housner printing & design 212.594.4722 



divers^ 



By independents. 




vision. 



For independents. 

P/Ctur«s 



Diversity of experience and culture. We're a multicultural house & our work reflects this. 
Creative young staff with REAL credits. HBO, MTV, FOX, CBS, PBS. Check our reel; 
Film/video long form documentary and narrative, music video, promos and spots. 



Introducing the StrataSphere 

Digital & component in/out Abekas digital keyer CMX 3600 EDL support 
Alpha channel w/each layer of video 50 layers of video for compositing / DVE 
Abekas DVEOUS online digital effects, real time, better than Kscope 
Networked to graphics station w/ Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and 3D 



Dvision/Avid for long format film/video 
NT/Perception for animation 
BCSP Broadcast & 16 Super 16mm pkgs. 



INTRODUCTORY RATES/DISCOUNTS FOR INDEPENDENTS AND STUDENTS 



138 E. 26th St. NYC 212-481-3393 (voice) 481-9899 (fax) 



"Script writing has never been faster or easier ! v 

■*■ ^—"^ Kjih\ \lurj\io\. Script Services Supervisor, t niversa! Studio 




Why is Scriptware the only 
sc: 



w 

TV V 



scnptwnting program to get a 
complete 4-star review in the Journal (of 
the Writer's Guild of America, July 1996)? 
And, what makes Scriptware the best- 
selling scriptwriting program among pro- 
fessional and aspiring script writers'? 

Simple. Scriptware is the fastest, 
easiest way to get the story that's in 
your head onto the page in the format 
that Hollywood demands. 

ith Scriptware. all you need are 
your pinkies and the Tab and 
Enter keys to create a perfectly formatted script. You just write and 
Scriptware does the rest, automatically. Type character names and 
scene headings with just one keystroke. Scriptware does the margin 
changes, spacing changes and capitalizing for you! Don't worry about 
page breaks and "more's" and "continued 's". Scriptware handles page 
breaks perfectly, as you write! 

Get all the power you need! Write every kind of 
script-film, TV, sitcom, A/V and more. Use our 
industry-standard formats or create your own. Script- 
ware comes with a 120,00+ word spell check and the- 
saurus. Make title pages in seconds. Import scripts 
you've already written. Track revisions, add electronic 
notes to your script, rearrange scenes like they're on 
index cards... and much, much more! 



Take a vacation with the time you'll save. Scriptware users say they're 
getting scripts done twice as fast as they used to. What's your time 
worth? Scriptware can pay for itself with your very first script! 

Order today and get Scriptware for a special low price. Or take our 
FREE demo for a spin. 

FREE BONUS! Scriptware formats like the pros, but how do you know 
what to write? How to write a montage? When to use transitions or 
numbering? What's dual-dialogue? Order now and you'll get. absolutely 
free, Scriptwriting Secrets. Writing Your Million Dollar Story. You could 
pay a consultant hundreds of dollars for this information, but we'll send it 
to you free if you order within the next 14 days. Don't wonder if you're 
doing it right, with Scriptware and Scriptwriting Secrets, you are! 

Visit our new web site at http://scriptware.com 
TRY IT RISK FREE! 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee! 
Scriptware Win - $ 299 95 DOS- 3 ^ 95 Demo! 
CALL TOLL-FREE 800-788-7090! 



i — 
■ □ 
i 



Send me Scriptware-DOS for only $179.95 ipiusS9s/n-) 
i □ Send me Scriptware for Windows for only $299.95 (plus $9 s/n* 
| j Send me your Demo Disk fnrrmi, TlilHii mm m free! 

j □ Payment enclosed. Bill my: □ Visa □ MC _) Amex 3 Discover 

i 



□ Payment enclosed. 

Name 



Address 



Scriptware requires: I0IK, HIM compatible computer. DOS - 80386 or better. 640K RAM. 

2M HD space, DOS 2. 1 or higher -Windows - 85486 or better. 2M RAM. 4M HD space 

© 1997 Cinovaiion, inc. 1750 30th St., Suite 360. Boulder, CO S0303 303-786-7899 



j City/State/Zip _ 

I Phone number. 

! Card # 

I 

I 




*CO residents add sales tax. Foreign s/ti extra. 



MAIL OR FAX TO: 

Cinovaiion. Inc.' 
1750 30th Street. Suite 360 
Boulder. CO 8030 1 
FAX (303) 786-9292 3 ? 



founded under Congressional mandate nine 
years ago. 

Explaining the rationale behind the move, 
ITVS board president Dee Davis cited the need 
to "seize the oppportunity to forge new partner- 
ships and create new income streams." Davis 
said he believed relocating ITVS in an area 
where "breakthroughs of the digital era are 
happening" would increase the service organi- 
zation's chance of success. 

ITVS currently has 18 employees, some of 
whom will receive offers to move with the orga- 
nization. "They're planning to operate a more 
lean operation," says ITVS spokesperson 
Deborah Blakely. "They're providing pretty 
extensive support to help people find new 
employment as well as severance packages." 

James Yee, the executive director of ITVS, 
says that they plan "continued collaborations" 
with Twin Cities Public Television as well as 
Minnesota-based producers and media organi- 
zations. — D.H. 

IFFM Inaugurates Cash Award 
for Black Filmmakers 

Black filmmakers at this year's Independent 
Feature Film Market (IFFM) have a chance to 
win a $10,000 cash prize and a shot at distribu- 
tion, thanks to the Gordon Parks Independent 
Film Awards. 

A panel of judges, including Julie Dash 
(Daughters of the Dust), Spike Lee, George C. 
Wolfe (Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk) as 
well as the award's namesake, Gordon Parks Sr. 
(Shaft), will select a film from participants at 
the 1997 IFFM, to be held September 14-21. 
Both the screenwriter and the director will 
receive $10,000. 

The award also carries an opportunity to dis- 
cuss distribution with a division of award-spon- 
sor Viacom, and a screening at Independents 
Night, the monthly film series presented by the 
Independent Feature Project (IFP) and the 
Film Society of Lincoln Center at the Walter 
Reade Theater. 

The award is named for Gordon Parks, one 
of Hollywood's first black directors. Before he 
made his first film in 1969 (The Learning Tree), 
Parks had spent 20 years as one of LIFE 
Magazine's top photojournalists. 

For more information about the Gordon 
Parks Independent Film Awards, contact IFP 
program director Karen Schwartzman at: 104 
West 29th St., 12th fl., New York, NY 10001; 
(212) 465-8200; fax: 465-8525. 



www.zooliquidprototype.com 

Study filmmaking with Ralph Ackerman. Ralph has been making t 
films/videos/CD-ROMs and teaching college courses & workshops, for 
34 years. USE - www.zooliquidprototype.com website, Zoo CD-ROM, 
Zoo video tape, Zoo workbook with lessons on computer disks. 
Footage and script supplied to students. College credit if needed. 
Choice of study tracks: narrative, documentary, personal, and/or inter- 
active - script writing, production, and/or editing. Choice of formats: 
16mm, Super8, video, and/or digital. Your own personal-customized 
lessons on computer disks. Info requests (718) 230-1186 

www.tincan.com - DreamPool 

For films, videos, CD-ROMS, use stock footage/photos from Ralph 
Ackerman's, DreamPool collection. Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, alter- 
native lifestyles, poetry, downtown style, anti-war demos, music, etc. 
Special low prices for artists, non profits, causes. (718) 230-1186 



Cutting edge 
at cut rates 



AVID On-line AVR-77 
with 3-D Pinnacle Board 

Interformat On-line 

D-2., Digital Beta 

Multi-format Duplication 

Standards Conversion 

Multimedia Production 

Camera Rentals 



R.G.VIDEO 

72 MADISON AVENUE 
NEW YORK, NY 10016 

(212)213-0426 




Avid 900 with 

34 gigs, beta SP, 

3/4 SP, DAT&CD, 

HJ8&VHS, 8 track mixer. 

Great location. 

24 hours/7days. 



video edit 




611 Broadway, suite 714 
(corner of houston) 
tel. (212) 228-9102 
fax. (212) 475-9363 




irmvi 



AVID 



(212)228-7748 



296 Elizabeth Street, Suite bf 

New York, N.Y. 

10012 



AVID & D/Vision suites 



at reasonable prices 



%fl,.nAVID is an HM Rifken Productions,lnc. Co. CALL ABOUT Beta SP Camera packages (IKE-57!) and crews j 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 15 




Berlin '97: Just Happy to be Here 

/Vt a cautious market, business 

cards anel VtandsYtskte&s satisfied mos-t 

■pi I m m a l<e rs fo r n oiv. 



by Dana Harris 

The European Film Market is an official 
part of the Berlin International Film Festival, 
but culturally it's a separate beast altogether. 
At non-market screenings, it's understood that 
you will arrive on time or risk not being admit- 
ted after the screening starts. And while view- 
ers occasionally leave after 30 minutes due to 
scheduling or boredom, most stay put. 

But what's good for the cinephile makes 
crazy the buyers, who are renowned for their 
wayward ways. "That's the one thing I couldn't 
get used to, people going in and out of the 
screenings," says Steven Kaminsky, producer of 
Pousse Cafe. 

However, these quickies often produce what 
attentive audiences can't: festival invitations, 
business cards, and screening cassette requests. 
That's why some official festival films were also 
market films. Hannah Weyer's Arresting Genu 
and Marc Huestis' Another Goddamn Benefit 
were part of the Panorama; Isle of Lesbos was in 
the International Forum. 

And if you were in the market, you needed 
a place to call home. For $500 any filmmaker 
could book a screening in one of the market's 
boxy projection rooms, but without a booth in 
the market, you might as well have saved the 
plane fare. 

"If you don't have a physical place, it's very 
disconcerting," says Michelle Byrd, executive 
director of the Independent Feature Project 
(IFP). "People aren't going to run up to your 
hotel and leave a message. It's easier to net- 
work with other people in the booth and hear 
what's going on." 

In Byrd's case, "the booth" is American 
Independents at Berlin, co-sponsored by IFP 
and Kodak, and home to 27 American inde- 
pendent filmmakers and 30 film-related orga- 
nizations (including AIVF). This was the IFP's 
first year with an official Berlin presence; pre- 
viously, the operation was handled by the New 
York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), with 
varying degrees of success. 

"The IFP is a membership organization that 
provides services year-round. In a lot of ways it 
makes more sense that the IFP is running the 




booth rather than NYFA, which is a funding 
organization," says Byrd. 

The booth's size and prime location — near 
the market's entrance — helped it stand out 
among the convention- center anonymity. 
Another advantage, but more difficult to quan- 
tify, was the spirit of unity between IFP repre- 
sentatives and the filmmakers. People traded 
buyer notes and party invitations, and shared 
cabs to go into East Berlin for late-night pub- 
crawling. 

"I've never worked with the IFP before, and 



it was a really good experience," says producer 
Quentin Lee (Shoppmg for Fangs) . "The ener- 
gy's great. It's like grassroots promotion." 

However, unlike most Market booths, the 
IFP wasn't out to sell. "We provide messaging 
service, we have somebody at your screenings, 
and we put out your promotional material," 
says Byrd. "We are not representing films. We 
are not acting on behalf of individual filmmak- 
ers." 

The IFP did scoot the profile of some film- 
makers a little higher with a sidebar program 



16 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



called AIM, or American Independents in 
the Market. Filmmakers began applying to 
the program last TK, and the selection was 
narrowed to 10 films, nine of which screened 
at the market. {Eye of God dropped out at 
the last moment.) In addition to being iden- 
tified as an "AIM" film, these filmmakers 
received free screening space as well as a 
$500 travel stipend. 

Two flights up from the IFP was The 
Independents Showcase, operated by former 
Independent Feature Film Market director 
Sandy Mandelberger. Both booths provided 
space for flyers and promotional postcards; 
both published a booklet listing all represent- 
ed films. The IFP charges $500; the for-prof- 
it Showcase charges $700 for documentaries, 
$850 for features. 

So what does the extra cash get you? 
Unlike the IFP, Mandelberger recommends 



flcGrath stars in the riveting The 
Headhunter's Sister, a feature that was 
shot on video-asd<fra» • 

Photo: Carmen Effingei 




films to buyers and allows filmmakers to dis- 
play film posters at the booth. For an extra 
fee, he'll also act as a producer's representa- 
tive, as he did for five of the 17 films he 
brought to the market. 

"I never answer a question like, 'What is 
your best movie?'" says Mandelberger. "But if 
they have a particular bent to their company 
or their film festival, I want to be able to spe- 
cialize for them." 

As to how he differentiates between films 
he reps and those he doesn't, Mandelberger 
says he tries to play fair. "On films I represent 
at the Market, we work out a limited 
arrangement for just a few months," he says. 
"People who hire just my marketing and PR 
services, I can advise them to a certain point 
and not beyond." 

While Kaminsky didn't hire Mandelberger 
as a rep, he chose the Showcase for Pousse 
Cafe. "There were fewer films and we felt like 
Sandy would give us more personal support," 



he says. "We got a lot of information about how 
Berlin should be handled for first-timers, and 
that's important. Sandy really went out of his 
way to impress us with providing information 
about buyers and acquisition people." 

"That's territory that not-for-profit can't 
even delve into," says Mandelberger. "And I 
think the industry is big enough and diverse 
enough so that's good. Between the two of us, 
we're helping lots of people." 

To date, the help from both organizations 
has translated into future possibilities rather 
than current sales. Most filmmakers said that 
results were currently limited to the occasional 
festival invite and what Chuck Parello, director 
of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 2, described as 
"lots of interest from a bunch of places." (An 
exception: director Scott Saunders personally 
sold The Headhunter's Sister to SHB Films for 
theatrical release in Israel.) For many, those ele- 
ments were 
enough to 
make it 

worth the 
trip. "It defi- 
nitely gave 
[the film] a 
legitimacy," 
says Parello. 
However, 
Rachel 
Reichman, 
director of 
Work, says 
that she was 
hoping for 
more than 
b u i n e s s 
cards and 
festival screenings. "I think you need a foreign 
sales agent to sell in Berlin," she says. "We've 
gotten a perpetuation of interest, but I thought 
we'd sell." 

"Deals don't happen at the market unless 
they were arranged in advance," says Man- 
delberger. "It's tough for American indepen- 
dents who are new out of the gate because one 
of the legitimate questions a European distribu- 
tor will ask you is 'Is there a U.S. distribution 
deal in place?'" 

While there was relatively little market gos- 
sip about deal-making, there was a buzz about 
the collapse of a once-assured market: 
European TV sales. 

"Ten years ago, if we had a decent indepen- 
dent feature film, we could sell it to 20 coun- 
tries for television," says foreign sales agent Jan 
Rofekamp of Films Transit. "Together, you 
could rake up some real cash. That's gone." 

The reason, he says, is the international 
death of public television. "Ratings became 



Avant-gardistes: 

tfe were FIRST in NY 
DV r Media 100 
& DigitalBetacam 
bre; st services. 

Technophobes: 

We are an experienced, 
idly facility. 

sers: 

ast DVCAM, 
& the tiny 
Cybercam, plus true 
c®i 4; i /rut bump-ups! 

Creative 

Editors: 

or finish on a 
d Media 100; 
w i ^ch you how. 

ment- 
ans: 

Re amera stand 

at an anding rate. 

Producers: 

! eta is NOW, 

m p to rocketship 

online, (hot rod editors 

and the bells & whistles 

ra charge). 



Digital 
is easy 



DMZ/Eric Solstein Prod. 
212 481-3774 

We accept major credit cards 
& offer special discounts 
to AIVF members, call. 



May 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 17 



Jeanne Chin and John 
Cho star in Shopping 
for Fangs, billed as 
(accurately enough) 
"a genre-hopping 
Generasian X comedy." 

Courtesy filmmaker 




important. This is why I got out of the feature 
film business. Even the most loyal buyers — 
Channel Four in the UK — they won't buy these 
films anymore." 

Today, Rofekamp makes his living selling 
documentaries, for which the market is more 
secure. Still, there's no guarantees. "The 
minute it's not an Oscar nominee it will be a lit- 
tle harder to sell," he says. "Our company will 
have one or two films that will break all those 
rules because they're so strong. [But] recent 
films like Family Name and Licensed to Kill — 
they're not topics that generate automatically a 
lot of promotion. If you throw them out in the 
market, buyers won't come rushing. You have to 
work for it." 

Once you enter the market, it's hard to 
remember that just outside is an alternate festi- 
val universe just as dizzying. Eleven days is not 
a lot of time to show nearly 400 films, but the 
Berlin International Film Festival pulls it off in 
style. Films are shown in enormous movie 
palaces — the kind that have been subdivided 
out of existence in the U.S. Screenings start on 
time. And best of all, the theaters are packed 
with eager and appreciative viewers, many of 
whom don't care about budgets or if the fJms 
would sell tickets in one of those American 
crackerboxes. 

Still, German efficiency isn't enough to make 
sense of exactly which films are playing in each 
section, or why. Then there's the awards, which 
are distributed by more than a dozen different 
juries. Here, then, are thumbnail sketches of 
three primary festival sections, and a little dish 
on each. Dig in and enjoy. 



Official Competition 

This is the section with the highest profile, the 
the greatest amount of press attention, and the 
most fallow ground for independent films. (Last 
one in these parts was Alison Anders' Gas Food 
Lodging in 19TK.) In addition to foreign films 
like Taiwan's He Liu (The River) and Great 
Britain's Twin Town, it's also home to 
Hollywood fare such as The English Patient and 
The Crucible. There's a number of "special 
screenings," including Tim Burton's Mars 
Attacks. 1 Also includes an "homage" to a star 
and a director; this year's recipients were Kim 
Novak (Vert/go) and G.W. Pabst (Pandora's 
Box). 

Best Scandal: When the protagonist dies 
and the audience cheers, you know your 
screening is going 
badly. Documen- 
tarian and essayist 
Bernard Henri- 
Levi made his fea- 
ture debut with 
Day and Night, a 
film that will be 
best remembered 
for the heartfelt 
boos and hisses it 
received when the 
director and stars 
(Lauren Bacall 
and Alain Delon) 
made their way to 
the stage for the 
Q&A session. 



Biggest Disappointment: Chris 

Marker's Level Five. Marker's La]etee 
is credited as the muse behind 12 
Monkeys, but his much-anticipated 
film was the subject of much grousing 
the morning after its debut. 

Panorama 

This festival sidebar is renowned for its 
focus on gay and lesbian themes as well 
as quirky independent films. Panorama 
has three subsections: the noncompeti- 
tive "Special" (Kevin Smith's Chasing 
Amy, Sogo Ishii's Labyrinth of Dreams); 
documentary (Arthur Dong's Licensed to 
Kill, Philip B. Roth's I Was a Jewish Sex 
Worker); and "art 6k essai," which con- 
tains both feature and documentary films, 
including Su Friedrich's Hide and Seek, 
Alex Sichel's All Over Me, and Ela 
Troyano's Latin Boys Go to Hell. 

Short and Semisweet: As the New York 
Film Academy's choice of best short film, 
Simone Horrocks (Spindrift) of Great 
Britain received a $4,000 scholarship for 
their basic eight-week filmmaking course — 
room, board, and travel not included. 

Pain Is Pleasure: In honor of the climactic 
scene of his documentary, Sick: The Life and 
Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, director 
Kirby Dick distributed promotional nails 
labeled with the time and place of his film's final 
screening. 

International Forum 

The Forum is the crazy quilt ot the Berlinale. 
Formed by the Friends of the German Film 
Archive in 1971 to serve as a platform for inde- 
pendent films, it is independently operated yet 
considered an intrinsic part of the festival. 



mu 




Steven Kaminsky, director of Pousse Cafe, says he loved 
the Berlin film market, with one exception: "I hated 
watching everyone come in and out of my screenings." 

Courtesy filmmaker 



18 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



- a ' a .VARIETY ! 




The promo card for 
Kirby Dick's Sick: 
The Life and Death 
of Bob Flanagan, 
Supermasochist. 
Dick also distrib- 
uted promotional 
nails, a reference 
to the most difficut 
scene to watch in 
his brilliant but 
tough-to-take doc- 
umentary. 
Courtesy 
filmmaker 



l0F »BflAHAGAH, SUPER «ASOC 




The 

Forum defines itself as being "especially 
devoted to films with experimental esthetics," 
but doesn't exclude genres or formats. This 
year, films included Nick Gomez's Illtoum, Alan 
Berliner's Nobody's Business, and Jo Andres' 
Black Kites (one of the few films under 60 min- 
utes). The Forum also contracts with filmmak- 
ers to show their work in noncommercial cine- 
mas and other festivals. 

Sometimes the magic works...: Todd Verow 
(Frisk) wrote, lit, shot, and directed Little Shots 
of Happiness, a grainy, jazzy film that skips and 
swings between light and dark. 

...and sometimes it doesn't: At one screen- 
ing of Isle of Lesbos, audiences swarmed a the- 
ater lobby in anticipation of the low-budget, 
high- camp homage to the Hollywood musical. 
Laughter spiraled down to deadly silence as 
bathroom humor and painfully hammy acting 
overwhelmed its Technicolor high spirits. 

Then there was the occasional random 
weirdness. At the market's cafe, filmmakers 
Susan Macintosh {Circus Lives) and Kirby Dick 
were discussing Scientology with producer 
Doug Lindeman (Picture This! Entertain- 
ment), who participated in the controversial 
religion fifteen years ago but had nothing unto- 
ward to say about it. "All of a sudden, two 60- 
year-old German men at the next table stood 
up and began yelling at us, 'Bullshit! Bullshit!' I 
was totally shaken up," says Macintosh. "But 
Doug remained calm through the whole thing. 
That's how I knew he was going to make a great 
producer." 

Dana Harris is managing editor of The Independent. 



0th annual 
lainl loui/ 

flltn fe/tival 

October J l-noY«»ber 1 1. 1997 

CALL FOR ENTRIES 

Deadline: August 15, 1997 

Features, Shorts, 
Documentaries, Animation 1 
in 1 6mm or 35mm 
J Cash Awards 



Entry T ee- $25 USDVcrieck or money 
order. No application form required. 
Send 1/2" NTSC screener and SASE, 
plus category and film length, to: 

Saint Louis Film Festival 

560 Trinity Ave. 

St. Louis, MO 63130 USA 

Phone: 314.726.6779 

Fax:314-726.5076 

E-mail: SLFF MO@aol.com 



V I 




PICTURES 




CUTTING EDGE NEW PCI AVIDS 

ON-LINE // OFF-LINE 

AVID COURSES // INDIE RATES 

FABULOUS ROOMS 

AVR 77 



212 255 2564 

34 w 17th Street 




May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 19 




by David Houts 

On the edge of the old city in Amsterdam 
sits a deconsecrated nineteenth-century 
church called the Paradiso. It is now a venue 
for art happenings and live music, a "rock tem- 
ple" as the locals describe it. However, for three 
days last December it became a meeting hall 
for documentary filmmakers seeking produc- 
tion financing. 

Sitting in bleachers where the altar and 
pews once stood and where sweaty teenagers 
more recently danced to the beat of a different 
drummer, these documentarians were on hand 
to pay homage to yet another god: Mammon. 
One by one they stood before the assembly of 
broadcasters from all over Europe and asked 
for money. Most got what they came for. 

This event is called the Forum for Inter- 
national Cofinancing of Documentaries, and it 
is part of the annual celebration of documen- 
tary that takes place every December in 
Amsterdam, the International Documentary 
Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA). Last year, the 
festival's ninth, more than 200 documentary 
features and shorts were shown for 10 days on 
eight screens to some 48,000 people in the cen- 
ter of Amsterdam. 

To an American documentary filmmaker 
like myself, who's used to working on the mar- 
gins of the media world, being there was like 
arriving in paradise. Gathered in one place was 
an interested and intelligent public, a sensitive 
and thoughtfully run institutional structure, 
and an international community of documen- 
tarians. Plus, there was the chance to see doc- 
umentaries from 45 countries. The American 
entries in competition were Frederick 
Weisman's latest, La Comedie Francaise ou 
Lamour Joue, Larry Locke's Pin Gods, Mark 
Wexler's Me and M;y Matchmaker, Ronald 
Levaco's Round Eyes in the Middle Kingdom, and 
Adam Simon's The Typewriter, the Rifle and the 
Movie Camera, with many other U.S. docs 
showing out of competition. 



I -F you've got the n e rve , 

/Km s~re rdam's Cofinancing Forum 

might have the money. 




But it is the Forum that makes the Amster- 
dam celebration extraordinary to the American 
eye. It is an institutional attempt to make the 
pursuit of international coproduction financing 
for documentaries easier tor independents. The 
Forum is sponsored by the European Com- 
munity's MEDIA Programme, the European 
Documentary Network, and the IDFA — all of 
which receive government subsidies. It's a pro- 
found contrast to the U.S., where the prospect 
for any kind of government funding for the arts 
now seems to be treated with derision by the 
political establishment. And it is that kind of 
attitude which stands in the way of the forma- 
tion of innovative public/private partnerships 
like the Forum, which doesn't dole out grants 
but uses public dollars to stimulate the com- 
mercial marketplace tor creative work. 

Among markets, the Forum is unique 
because it's only for works-in-progress, and the 
number of projects is very limited — so much so 
that documentary commissioning editors out- 
number projects. Ninety-six commissioning 
editors were on hand at the most recent Forum, 
representing 57 broadcasters from 18 countries, 



mostly European. Judging from 1995's statis- 
tics, the editors come away pleased with what 
they saw. About two-thirds of the projects 
pitched that year got some of the funding they 
needed following the Forum. According to 
Forum manager Jolanda Klarenbeek, of the 68 
projects pitched there in 1995, the Forum has 
received updates on 53. Of these, 20 are fin- 
ished, 21 are in production, nine are in devel- 
opment, two are on hold, and one has been 
cancelled. 

To be considered for the Forum, projects 
must have 25 percent of their financing in 
place (with a maximum of 75 percent) and the 
commitment of at least one broadcaster. Of the 
154 proposals submitted in 1996, 107 met 
these criteria and 64 were selected. This means 
that the producers attending the Forum have 
met a rigorous standard, which makes the 
whole event very dynamic and concentrated. 

Veteran documentary maker Barbara 
Kopple discovered the Forum just two years 
ago, when she was invited to be the keynote 
speaker at the IDFA and to show her films. "I 
didn't know the Forum existed, and I was 



20 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 



struggling to make Woodstock 
'94, so I asked if I could join," 
she recalls. "They said, 'No 
Americans.'" Up until last 
year, the Forum was open 
exclusively to European film- 
makers. "I was crestfallen, but 
I did my own little event for 
Woodstock '94 as a seminar 
anyway. But then I found out 
they were allowing 10 per- 
cent of the pitches from 
Americans this time, so I applied." 

Kopple's Woodstock '94 was one of three 
U.S. projects to make the cut. In addition, 
Jonathan Stack brought his proposal for The 
Farm, about a year in the life of the oldest 
penitentiary in America, and Lucille Carra 
and Brian Cotnoir made their pitch for 
Dvorak and America, which chronicles the 
journey of composer Antonin Dvorak to the 
United States. 

Kopple continues, "I came because you 
don't often get to meet many European doc- 
umentarians, and because it is even more dif- 
ficult to meet people from all over the world 
who can actually give you money. It was a gift 
to be able to come. The weird thing is the 
pitching. I only had 10 minutes, and it felt as 
though it was over before I had begun. But at 
the end, everybody there said they would 
take the film, and it is great to know that I'm 
on the right track." 

The Forum revolves around these pitch- 
es, which are equal parts business and the- 
ater, sales spiel and melodrama. Filmmakers 
get five or 10 minutes to try to sell their pro- 
gram proposals to the assembled commis- 
sioning editors — while everyone else is 
watching. 

The Forum takes its name from the 
Roman Forum, which was the main public 
square in every Roman city, a place where 
business was conducted and public meetings 
were held. At this modern incarnation, 40 
commissioning editors are seated at an oval- 
shaped arrangement of tables. At one end 
are two moderators and at the other are the 
"pitchers," blinded by the lights, trying to 
make the best impression in the least amount 
of time. The rest of the audience — fellow 
filmmakers, more commissioning editors, dis- 
tributors, consultants, and film board repre- 
sentatives — surrounds them on the bleach- 
ers. In total, about 380 people attended last 
year. 



The pressure to 

perform is 

palpable. The 

faint hearted and 

tongue-tied need 

not apply. 



In contrast to the U.S., the 
European broadcast market is 
a more viable home for stylis- 
tically varied and challenging 
documentaries. But it's get- 
ting harder to find financing 
there as well. As a conse- 
quence, broadcasters on both 
side of the Atlantic are more 
willing to get involved with 
international coproductions. 
The Forum is a response to 
this trend. In addition to being a place to put 
deals together, it also offers an opportunity to 
observe the thought processes of commission- 
ing editors as they evaluate program ideas. 
Most of the commissioning editors are from 
European countries; in 1996, probably 85 were 
European and the other 1 1 were American and 
Australian. It is a real education to hear them 
discuss what they want, because Europeans' 
taste in documentaries is so different from their 
counterparts in the U.S. Predilections not only 
vary from country to country, but often strands 
are shaped by the personal sensibilities of indi- 
vidual commissioning editors. 

The Forum's organizers do everything they 
can to make the process as successful and easy 
as possible for all concerned. They invite con- 
sultants specializing in international contracts, 
distribution, and coproduction who are avail- 
able for individual meetings. They hold a pitch- 
ing seminar for the inexperienced to polish 
their presentations. The pitches are scheduled 
between long coffee breaks, lunches, and 
evening parties where lots of business get done 
and friendships are formed. "The purpose of the 
Forum is not only to get specific projects 
financed," says Klarenbeek, "but to hook up 
producers with different kinds of ideas. 
Networking is 50 percent of the Forum. 
Commissioning editors want to get a feeling for 
the state of affairs in creative documentary and 
producers want to know what commissioning 
editors are thinking and to learn more about 
coproducing and cofinancing, so combining the 
Forum with the International Documentary 
Filmfestival Amsterdam makes it the natural 
platform for that to take place." 

There are certainly moments when the 
whole affair seems like a bit of a junior United 
Nations, with simultaneous translation for 
French and English speakers (to the continuing 
irritation of the Germans) and an unending 
succession of national idiosyncrasies on display. 
The British are at times concise and a little bit 
condescending, the French can make incredibly 



UKAITU 



<LIAT£f 



mm 



€veruthirig for 
Post Production. 



FULL LABORATORY $€RVIC€5 

T€L€Cin€ 

€DITORIAL 

Past Prod. Supervisors 

Dailies $uncing 

€dge Coding 

Film €diting 

Digital nonlinear 
Flatbed 

Assistant €diting 

On-Line €diting 

equipment Rental 
$P€CIAL €FF€CT$ 

Digital/Optical 
$OUflD 

Design 

€diting 

€ffects 

Foleu 

ADR 

mixing 

Sweetening 

Transfers 
1/4" to' 
DAT to 
fTlag. to] 

mu$ic 

Composing 

Recording 

€diting 

Libraru 
VID€0 DUBBIfK 
TITL€$ & CR€I 
fl€GATIV€ CI 
VID€0 TO FII 
DIGITAL 



We are an independent Group 

of Businesses that make Lpur 

Post Production nightmare a 

Dfi€ rim 



For more Information call 




May 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



productions 

#11 WEEHAWKEN ST. 
jg NEW YORK. NY 10014 
212.691 -103S 

"12.242.4911 



•6 SGI Impact Workstations 

- Indigo 2 R10000 

- 3D Modeling and Animation 

- PowerAnimator and Composer 

- Ascension Motion Capture 

•3 Protools PCI Audio Suites 

- Sound Design 

- ADR, Foley 

•Avid 1000 PCI 

- Resolutions up to AVR 77 

- 3D Effects Module 

- Beta, 3/4", 1/2", DAT, CD 



•Avid 800 (off-line) 

- Resolutions up to AVR 3 

- Beta, 3/4", 1/2", DAT, CD 

• Photoshop, Illustrator and 
After Effects Workstations 



w w w -glc .com 



intellectual pitches (one producer spent half of 
her allotted time deconstructing the spelling of 
Gulag), Germans can get very defensive when 
challenged about material dealing with Nazism, 
and producers from the Nordic countries often 
have trouble making eye contact. 

The environment is collegial and encourag- 
ing, but the pressure to perform is also palpable. 
The faint-hearted and tongue-tied need not 
apply. It can be a brutal reminder that the com- 
missioning of documentaries can seem very 
capricious. Many things unrelated to the merits 
of a film can get in the way — from its length to 
the fact that a broadcaster recently ran a series 
on a similar subject. There is the added element 
of chance; the person who might be most 
inclined to buy a project could be late returning 
from lunch and miss the pitch. 

In fact, sometimes it felt less like a classical 
forum and more like a Coliseum with 
Christians being fed to the lions. A Dutch team 
pitched a 50-minute observational documen- 
tary about four 

truckers trav- 

Jonathan Stack s prison documentary 
eling between Channel Four. Courtesy filmmaker 
Russia and 
Western 
Europe. They 
had done their 
preliminary 
research trips, 
taken photos, 
and shot a few 
hours of Hi8 
tape. They had 
found their 

characters and were poised to go into pro- 
duction; all they needed was some more 
money. But when they finished their pitch 
and the moderator queried the commission- 
ing editors, we heard that German, French, 
and Finnish broadcasters were about to air 
their own programs on exactly the same sub- 
ject. Nothing the Dutch could have said about 
their brilliance as filmmakers or novelty of 
approach could have rescued their project. 
Everyone in the room telt for these guys; the 
only thing they could do was say "thank you," 
leave, and file away all that lovingly collected 
research. 

Jonathan Stack had a much a happier expe- 
rience. With partial funding in place for The 
Farm from Arts & Entertainment, he needed to 
match the amount A&lE was putting up with 
European financing. And he did. Now three 
months later, he has commitments from WDR 
in Germany and Channel 4 in the UK, and is 



well into production. 

Stack has a good sense of perspective on 
the role the Forum can play in fundraising. 
"The pitch itself is only five minutes, with 
another five minutes for the discussion," he 
says. "It looks like it is really stressful, that 
there is a lot riding on it. But you shouldn't 
put pressure on yourself; just enjoy it like a 
good piece of theater. Do just enough to 
impress them, then you can follow up with 
the people who are interested. That's where 
the hard work comes in. You should put all 
your heart and soul into it, but it doesn't 
determine your quality as a person or a film- 
maker. 

"The Forum was a chance for me to be 
there in front of these people who I don't 
have the money to meet one by one," Stack 
continues. "And it worked. I didn't do any 
deals in Amsterdam, but it led to the WDR 
deal and it helped clinch the one with 
Channel 4- Going in, the big question for me 

The Farm was picked up by WDR & 




Arts-related films like Lucille Carra & Brian Cotnoir's 
Dvorak and America were a tougher sell in Amsterdam 
than social issue docs, even though the subject of the 
Czech composer's trip to the U.S. is a logical fit for a 
U.S./European coproduction. Courtesy filmmaker 



22 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



was, 'Do I shoot on tape or film?' And now I'm 
shooting on film." 

Stack found the contacts he made with film- 
makers to be as valuable as those with commis- 
sioning editors. "Part of how I work is that I 
involve producers in these countries with the 
project. So I get the benefit of their reputation, 
which makes the commissioning editors more 
comfortable. The local producer handles a lot 
of the day-to-day stuff with the broadcaster, 
which is time-consuming and hard to manage 
with a five or six hour time difference. 

"I also get the help and support of other film- 
makers whose work I respect. The Forum is 
ideal for building those kinds of relationships. 
Another part of it is that they bring me projects 
they have initiated in their home countries. We 
can use each others' networks to leverage 
money and create alliances." 

Lucille Carra and Brian Cotnoir also had a 
positive experience presenting Dvorak and 
America, although it didn't feel like that at the 
beginning. "We had finished our pitch and it 
seemed like people weren't that interested," 
says Carra "I think the bias among the commis- 
sioning editors there is more towards social and 
political documentaries. People looking for arts 
films like ours, or nature documentaries for that 
matter, weren't well represented. But after we 
finished and were walking away from the table, 
one of the commissioning editors turned 
around and tugged at my sleeve. She said she'd 
like to see more of our footage. We are still 
negotiating with her, and I'm optimistic that we 
will get funding." 

So, if you have a documentary proposal, run, 
don't walk, to the Forum. Its 5th edition will be 
held on December 1-3, 1997, and the applica- 
tion deadline is September 19. If you have fin- 
ished a film or need a vacation and some inspi- 
ration, the 10th IDFA runs from November 26 
to December 4, and that application deadline is 
August 25 th. For further information and entry 
guidelines, contact the Foundation Forum and 
IDFA at: Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 
RR Amsterdam, The Netherlands; tel: (31) 20- 
627-33-29; fax: (31) 20-638-53-88; idfa@ 
xs4all.nl 

Next time I go back to the Forum, I'm shed- 
ding my press credentials and going with a 
pitch. 

David Houts makes documentaries with his partner, 
Daniel Elias, for their company, Hybrid Films, Inc. 
Their most recent program, Choc-O-Rama, was com- 
missioned by Arte and broadcast throughout Europe in 
January. They are currently coproducing a jazz docu- 
mentary for the BBC. 



:-. 



HUNTER 
COLLEGE 

OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK 



I 



ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, 
CREATIVE MEDIA PRODUCTION 



Full Time Tenure Track 

Hunter College's Program in Media Studies, which 
combines the study of media theory and practice, 
seeks an innovative media producer— with a background 
in narrative dramatic forms and the use of video, film 
and new digital media technologies— to teach courses 
in both production and theory. Applicants should have 
a proven record of original creative work, evidence 
of outstanding teaching, and a strong commitment to 
working in an urban setting with a culturally diverse 
student body. Candidate will be expected to contribute 
to program development in a new Department of Film 
and Media Studies. 

Terminal degree (Ph.D. or M.F.A.) or its creative 

equivalency is required. Salary (Assistant Professor: 

$29,931 to $52,213) commensurate with teaching 

and professional experience. Samples of creative 

work should be sent only upon request. Applications 

will begin being reviewed on March 1, 1997. 

Please send letter of application, a detailed resume, 

and the names, addresses and phone numbers of 

at least three references to: 

Prof. Stuart Ewen, Chair 

Department of Communications/Program 

in Media Studies 

HUNTER COLLEGE 

695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021 

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/IRCA/ 
Americans with Disabilities Act Employer 




i e l i r r r oth 



NEW! 

REVISED SECOND 
EDITION 



FREE 

Trial Offer! 

(30-day 
money-back 
guarantee) 



UDGE 



VIDEO 



BIBLE 



HI8, Mini DV, and S-VHS 

SECRETS REVEALED! 

THE LOW BUDGET VIDEO BIBLE 

The essential do-it-yourself guide to creating 

top-notch video on a shoestring budget 



Camcorders, editing, shooting 

strategies, formats, time code systems, 

audio tracks, nonlinear, desktop video, 

& much more! Over 450 pages. 



Call with credit-card, or send check/m.o. 

Just $27.95 plus $3.00 shipping 

(NY residents add $2.31lax) 



DESKTOP VIDEO SYSTEMS 

Box 668-Peck Slip Station 
New York, N.Y. 10272 



ORDER NOW! (24-hr) 
1-800-247-6553 



Call for Entry 






28th 

Annual 

Sinking Creek 

Film/Video 



Nov. 13 to 16, 1997 



35 mm / 16 mm 
3/4 inch / Beta 

Animation - Documentary 

Music Video - Experimental 

Feature 

Young Film Maker 

(Ages: High School 

and younger 

Includes all catagories) 



Workshops 
Special Events 
Cash Awards!!! 



Deadline 
June 31. 1997 

Registration Information 

Sinking Creek Film / Video 

Festival 

Michael Catalano, Director 

402 Sarratt Center 

Vanderbilt University 

Nashville, TN 37240 

Vox (615) 343-3419 

Fax (615) 343-9461 

e-mail: 
creek@ctrvax.vanderbilt.edu 



Accepting Canadian 
and Intl entries 




May 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 23 




by Howie 
Movshovitz 

The 14th Miami Film Festival (Jan. 3 1 — Feb. 
9) presented an interesting program of 32 fea- 
tures and a number of seminars, but as a venue 
for independent film it was something of a 
mixed bag. In the context of an all-purpose fes- 
tival — with a line-up ranging from Bob 
Rafelson's Blood and Wine to Carlos Saura's 
Taxi to a 30th anniversary screening of Bonnie 
and Clyde, with director Arthur Penn on hand 
to speak — three new American independent 
features reflects a fair balance. Yet that's not 
enough to mark the festival as a major site for 
the exhibition of independent cinema. And 
while the festival has ambitions for the future, 
as of 1997 it's not yet a serious market. 

The audience was enthusiastic, apprecia- 
tive, and interested, but not a professional 
audience, as one might find at Sundance, 
Cannes, Toronto, or the smaller festival/mar- 
kets. Like the city as a whole, the Miami audi- 
ence was largely bilingual and showed special 
warmth for the 1 1 films in Spanish. 

Independent filmmakers, though, shouldn't 
underestimate the value of a gracious audi- 
ence — and a large one — in a beautiful theater. 
For most of the films, the 1,700 seats of the 
Gusman center were filled, and when the lights 
go down in this wonderfully ornate (and 
restored) 1930s movie house, a night sky with 
twinkling stars appears above. 

The three American independent films — 
Michael Lindsay-Hogg's Guy, Richard 
Linklater's subUrbia, and Greg Mottola's The 
Daytrippers — had distribution deals before 
their festival screenings, but they probably 
developed some good word-of-mouth both 
locally and among the several dozen journalists 
who flew in from around the country. 

Festival programmer Nat Chediak intends 
for the Miami Film Festival to become a signif- 
icant national event with some degree of mar- 
ket activity. It certainly is friendly to indepen- 




Miami Film Festival cr&clcs o%»&n 
its eioor to indie film and video 




dent media. The seminar program, directed by 
videomaker Robert Rosenberg, devoted three 
of its seven events exclusively to independent 
film and video production. One discussion 
tocused on the making ot The Duyinppers and 
gave director Greg Mottola (with actoi Hope 
Davis) a good 90 minutes to talk about how he 
brought the film into being. The seminar was 
called "Making Movies: A Case Study ot The 
Daytrippers," but turned into a lesson in the dif- 
ference between studio and independent pro- 
duction. 

The seminar "Crisis in American 
Independent Filmmaking: Where's the 
Audience?" continued to pursue the question 
of what makes a film independent, but with a 
hard look at the market potential for indepen- 
dent films. The panel included Mark Gill ot 
Miramax; Sony Classics executive Michael 
Barker; John Pierson, producer's rep and 
author of Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes; and 
arts reporter David D'Arcy. 

Moderator Reed Rosefelt, a veteran publicist 
and head of the new marketing firm Magic 
Lantern, was blunt: "Six hundred films were 
submitted to Sundance. Geoff Gilmore chooses 
maybe 60 or so. Maybe six of them are not a 
complete catastrophe in theaters." 

The rest of the panel agreed — repeatedly — 
that there are too many films coming out for 



the current market, 
that (especially) young 
filmmakers are overly 
optimistic, and that, in 
spite of a few recent 
successes, indepen- 
dent films have lost 
ground in their share 
of the overall film 
market. 

Panelists also ex- 
pressed concern that 
many independent 
filmmakers are really 
making resumes — 
expensive ones — for 
the mainstream film industry. As Pierson cau- 
tioned a hopeful filmmaker in the audience, 
"Don't be so fast to call it 'product.'" 

The one program where those bits of 

information and advice made little difference, 
though, was the video sidebar, "The United 
States of Video." For this day-long colloqui- 
um, the festival brought in eight videomakers 
and one distributor (Women Make Movies' 
Deborah Zimmerman) to present and discuss 
work. "It's the Trojan horse," says Rosenberg 
ot the colloquium's effort to wedge video into 
the context of a feature film festival. 

This took place in what is often called an 
"all-purpose" or "media" room at Miami- 
Dade Community College. No one among 
either the audience or the videomakers har- 
bored any illusions, or even much interest, 
about markets or profits. Nor did anyone 
express doubts about the meaning of the 
word independent. 

The videos were a mix of old and new. Says 
Rosenberg, "I wanted to show the range of 
the whole [video] field." The morning session 
included work by Julie Gustafson (The Politics 
of Intimacy and Desire), AIDS activist Gregg 
Bordowit: (Fast Trip/Long Drop), and 
Lawrence Andrews (And They Came Riding 
into Touni on Black and Silver Horses). Cara 



24 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 




From Vincent Carelli's provocative Video in the Villages. 

Courtesy videomaker 

Mertes showed excerpts from her ITVS series 
Signal to Noise, which offers an analysis of tele- 
vision, while Mexican documentarist Gloria 
Ribe came with The Tequila Effect. The after- 
noon session included screenings of Kip 
Fulbeck's Some Questions for 28 Kisses, excerpts 
from Tami Gold's Juggling Gender, Out at Work 
(coproduced by Kelly Anderson), and a work- 
in-progress, plus Video in the Villages, a project of 
Brazilian Vincent Carelli. 

For a writer who has spent much (but not 
all) of his professional life around the makers of 
theatrical films, "The United States of Video" 
was particularly refreshing. There was little talk 
of budgets and no questions from the audience 
about "How did you get distribution?" or "Can 
you help me get my film made?" 

For a full day the talk was about the sub- 
stance of the videos, what the makers were try- 
ing to do — questions of meaning, artistic 
intent, and achievement, questions of sub- 
stance. Although old phrases like "subverting 
the dominant medium" tolled like a particular- 
ly grim bell, hearing talk about politics, social 
activism, and the stuff of video, instead of busi- 
ness, gave the program a juice absent from the 
other seminars. 

The screening highlight for me was Carelli's 
Video in the Villages. For this project, Carelli 
introduced video cameras and recorders to 
tribespeople in the most remote areas of the 
Amazon basin, and his tape showed a man from 
one tribe presenting video to members of 
another. 

Carelli took plenty of heat for some people 
who thought he was committing an act of cul- 
tural genocide by bringing this technology to 
people who use crude bows and arrows to hunt 
spider monkeys. But Carelli believes these 
groups are about to be overrun and that they 
will certainly disappear without this vital tool. 
His was the most engaging program I saw in the 
entire festival. 

Howie Movshovitz is critic for Colorado Public Radio, 

contributes to NPR's Morning Edition, and teaches at 

the University of Colorado at Boulder. In November he 

was deposed as film critic of the Denver Post. 



rm 



NON-LINEAR 

EDIl'ING 



MEDIA 100 SYSTEM 

• True broadcast-quality 

• "Off-line" and "On-line" with 
"All-On-One"™ mastering 

• Multi-track, 16-bit, 44.1kHz 
(CD-quality) audio mixing 

• CG, Color FX, Motion RC 

• BetaSP Deck 



PLUS- 
ANIMATED 
GRAPHICS, 
H3EY5S«c 

COMPOSTING 




AFWR 
EFFECTS 




rtNG. 



(212)226-1152 

• COMPETETIVi RATES 
« CALL FOR FREE CONSULTATION 



Cm 





Avid Feature Film Camp™ 

Avid Feature Film Camp™ combines Avid 
Authorized Media Composer education 
with hands-on experience In the post 
production of a feature film. Under the 
tutelage of a feature editor and two 
supervising assistants, students from 
around the world work together as 
assistant editors with credit on a 
previously unreleased motion picture. 
For six weeks, Avid Feature Rim Camp™ 
participants become completdy 
immersed in learning the art and science 
of digital film post production . 

digital media 

"education center 

503.29 7.2324 
http://www.dmec.com 



Dedicated to Digital Video 

A new bare bones production 
& post production facility. 



. . . Sony DCRVx 1000 Digital 
camcorder or package. 

...AVID Suite AVR 75 

MCXpress media composer 
Online or Offline with or 
without editor. 

. . . An equipped, vest pocket 
500 sq. ft. pie shaped 
production studio with 
12' ceiling, skylights (crane, 
dolly, portable monitor, 
Lowel DP, Tota, Pro lights, 
stands etc. Senheisser, 
Lavalier mikes, fishpole, 
boom, steadycam etc). 

. . . Rehearsal and office space. 

All located in an 
1826 row house inTribeca. 

(Special rates for Independents and 
Digital Video enthusiasts). 

Phone: 212 925 3622 
Fax: 212 925 2718 



May 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



by Dan Mirvish 



o 



o 



THE INDEPENDENT FILM COMMUNITY MAY HAVE QUEStioned 
the "independence" of Pulp Fiction — a film that cost $8 mil- 
lion and was released by a company owned by Disney — but 
when it comes to reaching mainstream audiences, Quentin 
Tarantino has bestowed a good name on all independent film- 
makers. The recent crossover success of independent films has 
whetted America's appetite for small, critically driven, low-budget 
movies, and on the exhibition frontier that means it's now much 
easier to get independent films — even self-distributed ones — into 
the multiplexes. 

Of course, it wasn't QT alone who primed the pump. The 
media now sees Sundance as deserving major annual coverage, 
and outlets like Entertainment Tonight and the E! Channel love to 
highlight the annual Cinderella story. The proliferation of local 
film festivals around the country also helps raise public aware- 
ness of independent film. Then there's the prime seats that inde- 
pendent films — or at least relatively low-budget studio fare — 
take at the Oscars. And two nationwide cable channels devoted 
to independent film have emerged — and although they aren't 
actually in many homes, their advertising is. 

Then there's the filmmakers themselves, who are becoming 
more numerous and geographically diverse. There are now film 
schools all over the country, with mini film centers in places like 
Austin, Atlanta, Seattle, the Carolinas, and Minneapolis. The 
propagation of fanzines and filmmaking magazines seems to have 
inspired everyone with a camcorder, a light bulb, and a water pis- 
tol to become a backyard auteur. Finally, the Internet brings festival 
coverage, release dates, and big-city reviewers onto laptops from 
coast to coast. 

Not only are big multiplex companies aware of the grow- 

ing interest in indies, but they have the room to respond to it. 

To draw audiences away from their VCRs, the sterile 8-plexes 

of the eighties are giving way to 21-plexes replete with gourmet 

pizza, espresso, and cupholders. And with indie films comes arthouse 

demographics: movie buffs aren't the sort to skimp on a slice of brie to 

go with their double-double-decaf. 

Best of all, the leap in screen space means that multiplexes can 
afford to take a chance on you. As far as the big chains are concerned, 
it's a lot less risky to show one no-budget indie film when you know 
you'll be making money on 20 Hollywood screens. "The more screens 
they build, the better off we are, regardless of what's on them," says Joel 
Roodman, whose Gotham Entertainment is working with self-distrib 
pioneers Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger on distributing their latest 
film, Paradise Lost. 

Exhibitors say there's a trend to designate a single screen in a big 
multiplex as the "art screen." In some cities, especially one where a sin- 
gle company dominates, an entire 4- or 6-plex can be devoted to show- 
ing "specialized films." 

"As much as possible, we are increasing the number of towns 
[where] we're devoting one screen to the art films — especially where 
we have a large number of screens in that area," says Tony Rhead, vice 
president of film for Carmike Cinemas, the largest circuit in the coun- 
try. 



Granted, a multiplex owner might see anything with a budget under 

$20 million as "independent." That's why some of these independent 

screens are informally dubbed "Miramax screens" for that certain 

branch of Disney that has a virtual lock on them. But don't blame 

the Weinsteins: imitate them. 

A lot of bookers and theater managers don't follow the world of 

independent cinema and aren't aware of small distributors, much 

less individual filmmakers peddling their own product. But that 

doesn't mean they're opposed to us. And unlike some arthouses 

that are totally dependent on maintaining good relationships 

with Miramax and Fine Line (and saving them screen space, no 

matter what the film), the theater chains are sometimes big 

enough to be above those concerns — they've always got more 

screens. 

"Overall, I've seen a greater willingness in the last two years to 

even consider our brand of more limited product," says Jonathan 

Cordish of Seventh Arts Releasing. Cordish says that in addition 

to more traditional specialized venues, "last year we worked with 

Sony, United Artists, and Regal. It's been interesting to see films 

play from the Quad in New York to a multiplex in a shopping mall 

in Santa Cruz." 

Now, does that mean any indie filmmaker can waltz into their 

neighborhood AMC and expect to get a booking? Well, maybe. 

"We are seeing more films self-distributed," says Carmike's Rhead. 

"We do get quite a few calls from independent producers and we'll 

try the film if it has any merit at all." But before you start dialing 

Tony's number, there are a few things you might want to think 

about first. 

Number One: A film. Specifically, a feature-length, 35mm 
film. Almost no multiplexes have 16mm equipment, so 
unless you bring your own, don't expect to play your 16 
or Super 16 opus without a costly blow-up. 



T5 



5C 



Self-Distribution 



Number Two: Marketing materials. It really helps to have a the- 
atrical trailer. While some arthouses will let you slide on this one, it's 
tougher with the multis. But the advantage here is that if you've got a 
lot of copies of the trailer, they can run them in multiple screens at the 
complex as well as (hopefully) across town at another company-owned 
multiplex. 

There's a few other important things: posters, press kits, stills, and 
ad slicks — pretty much the same supplies that help your film run in 
any theater. But those things are essential for both booking and suc- 
ceeding in a multiplex. "Dealing with the multiplexes is very much dif- 
ferent than with the arthouse chain in that it puts a greater need on 
the distributor to really make sure that all the marketing is done the 
right way," says Cordish. "You're not going to get the support that you 
would from an arthouse chain like Landmark." 

Number Three: A track record. Hopefully, your stint on the festi- 
val circuit has produced a press kit. Even program descriptions from 
festivals look good. Multiplex bookers are very impressed by festivals, 
but they're not especially savvy (or snobby, for that matter) about 
which fests are more important than others, or which one you pre- 
miered at, or which ones are competitive. Any proof that an audience 



26 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



To a theater chain, it's less risky to show one 
no-budget indie film when they're making m o n e y 

of Holli/wood films. 



on 20 



showed up (and preferably paid money) to see the film — whether it be 
a standing-room-only festival audience, or your hometown cast and 
crew screening — is good news for a skittish booker. 

Reviews are also impressive, but Variety and The Hollywood Reporter 
aren't the only trades that mainstream exhibitors read. You should also 
contact magazines like Box Office, Film ]oumal, and the Independent 
Marketing Edge newsletter and angle for reviews or other coverage. 

One thing you don't need: an MPAA rating. If the film is heading 
into NC- 1 7 territory and you get it rated, this could hurt your chances 
for advertising. If it's not rated, and the theaters decide to book it any- 
way, don't worry about it. Getting a rating costs at least $2,000. You 
could beg for a poverty deferral and pay only $500 up front, but it 
scarcely seems worth the trouble. Use the nice little pamphlet the 
MPAA will send you to explain their ratings system, and tell people 
and the press what the film would be rated if it were. Often filmgoers 
will call the theater in advance, so it's important to give the hypothet- 
ical rating to the theater staff just in case. The absence of a rating 
tends to have a psychological effect — people assume the film's an NC- 
17 even if it isn't. 

Okay, so you've got your film, trailers, and all that other stuff. 
Compared to arthouses, the first thing that's different about multi- 
plexes is they have bookers on staff, although a few use third-party 
bookers. It's a little different with each chain, and it can take a few 
phone calls to figure out the right person to talk to. Some companies 
have bookers who work strictly on a geographical basis, while others 
will devote a single booker to handle specialized films nationwide. 
When in doubt, start by calling the theater managers. 

Once you've tracked down the appropriate person for the city or 
cities you want to play in, it's pretty much the same as booking a film 



to Multiplexes 



• # # i 



in an arthouse: you send a tape, press kit, reviews, maybe a poster, and 
hope for the best. 

In my experience, multiplex bookers — if they're predisposed to book 
specialized films in the first place — are no more concerned with prior 
box office grosses or distribution track records than any independent 
theater. In some cases, they're a little less shrewd about the indepen- 
dent world and find it kind of a kick to deal directly with the film- 
makers rather than the eight studio guys they talk to every day. 

Once you've booked a film, make sure everyone is clear on the "set- 
tlement terms." Unlike major studios, which usually make complicat- 
ed deals involving "house allowances" (also called the "house nut") 
followed by percentage splits, most indie and self-distributors make 
simple percentage deals that typically range from 35-50% of the box 
office gross. You're lucky to get more than 35%, but don't accept any- 
thing less. And unlike some art and college theaters, don't expect to 
get any kind of a guarantee. As for sending out a contract, you can 
either get your hands on a studio boilerplate contract and modify it for 
your own company, or more often than not, don't bother with it at all. 
When it comes to exhibitors, they're either going to pay you or they're 
not. A contract would only be worthwhile if you were to sue them for 



lack of payment, but the sums we're talking about aren't worth the 
time and money that it would take to drag them into court. Ironically, 
I used a contract with the theater that gave me the most grief about 
being paid. 

Once the film is booked, the first thing to do is call the theater man- 
ager (in some cases, there may be an additional city manager to talk 
to). As with any booking, the first thing to discover is the local press 
situation. Who are the local reviewers? Are there any radio stations 
that do promos with the theater? Any chance of TV coverage? Unlike 
most arthouses, which are usually happy to organize advance press 
screenings, this is more of a rarity in a multiplex. In some cases you may 
be charged for it, especially if they have to pay union projectionists 
overtime. 

Make sure that everyone working at the theater is familiar with your 
film — either by seeing it or reading your press kit — and knows roughly 
what your rating would be. You'd be surprised how many people go "to 
the movies" rather than to a specific movie — and very often it's the kid 
in the box office who steers them to one rather than another. 

Toward that end, it's a good idea to make fliers and send them to the 
theater. There's usually a place to put them near the box office, as well 
as one inside the 
box office for 
employee use. 
And if you or a 
friend is going to 
be at the theater 
during your run, 
try standing in 
front of other 
screens at the 
multiplex (or for 
that matter, at 
some other mul- 
tiplex) and hand- 
ing out fliers 
directly; this is 
especially effec- 
tive on Friday 
nights. Give 

them to people 
while they're 
standing in the 
ticket line. 

One big differ- 
ence between the multiplexes and arthouses is in advertising. Many 
arthouses use a calendar or run small newspaper ads. Multis use exten- 
sive newspaper advertising. These are usually paid for on a "co-op" 
basis, which means the costs are split 50/50 between the theater com- 
pany and the distributor. While you can always place an ad in a news- 
paper yourself, the theaters usually have standing discounts with the 
papers. Who you have to deal with to place the ads varies: usually it's 
the theater manager, but some companies have a national marketing 
office you have to talk to first. 

Another important variation is in who pays for the ads and how. In 
most cases, the ad fees are billed against receipts, which means you 




j Dan Mirvish leaned how to knock 'em dead when 
•marketing his film Omaha (the movie) (pictured) 
" to multiplexes. Courtesy filmmaker 




May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 



* 



2£X^^^^Zi^^^^^^O^^^^S£iJ 



never have to shell out any hard cash for advertising. But a few com- 
panies keep the two accounts separate and may require ad money up 
front. In any case, most multis have two kinds of ads: the directory list- 
ings, which list all the movies playing at a given theater, and the indi- 
vidual movie ads. The directory ads are usually free, but it's up to you 
to decide how big an individual ad to get for your film. 

This is where playing at a big multiplex in a small town really pays 
off. In a big- city daily paper, you might pay $100 or more per column 
inch for advertising. But in a small town, those rates can drop as low as 
$12 per column inch. And remember, your costs are split with the the- 
ater. On this level, you can really compete on equal footing with the 
Hollywood movies. Ask the theater what size ads other distributors are 
running. Other good places to advertise are in the weekly alternatives 
and college papers. You'll find that some multiplexes don't normally 
run ads in those papers, but there's no reason you can't do it yourself. 

It always pays to call the newspaper ad departments directly to make 
sure your ads are being placed. In really small papers, talking to the ad 
person might also help you on the editorial side. Another advantage of 
playing in small towns is that the entertainment writers rarely get calls 
from directors. They're usually less cynical than their big-city counter- 
parts and thus more inclined to give you a good review if you've but- 
tered them up prior to their seeing the film. They're also more likely to 
do a feature story and run stills. Small town or big, you should always 
try to contact reviewers directly — it's almost always more reliable than 
going through the theater managers. 

One frustration: Some small newspapers don't have their own 
reviewers and rely on wire-service reviews. And at big-city dailies, if 
the critic is too busy to go to a press screening, they too will rely on a 
wire review. You can always try to foist one of your non-wire reviews on 
them and hope they reprint it verbatim. 

Radio is terrific. There's almost always one station that will have an 
on-going relationship with the theater you're playing in. Just call the 
promotions person at the station and tell them to organize a ticket 
giveaway with the theater manager. Once they're committed to the 
tickets, it's pretty easy to parlay that into a short phone-in interview on 
at least one of their shows. And just because a radio station's never 
done a ticket giveaway doesn't mean they won't. 

If it's an extensive promotion, sometimes a station will want an 
exclusive deal. But usually you're free to try as many stations as you can 
find. Even if they're not doing a ticket giveaway, many will still want to 
do a little interview. And don't limit yourself to your target demo- 
graphic. All those Rush Limbaugh, talk/news, AM stations need all the 
interviews they can get — and their ratings often dwarf those of the hip, 
alternative station in town. 

The nice thing about working with a multiplex theater is that 
they're usually staffed by a lot of high school kids who have never met 
a filmmaker before, much less one who shows up at the theater wear- 
ing a sandwich board and carrying 3,000 fliers. They have a lot of good 
word-of-mouth potential; if you can get them excited about the film, it 
can go a long way toward making the movie a success. 

Finally, it never hurts to be a little paranoid about your prints. Be 
sure they're shipped to the theater on time (remember, UPS is just 
another way of spelling "oops") . Then make sure that the projectionist 
knows your aspect ratio (it had better be 1.85 or Scope; the multis 
don't get many 1.66s) and sound system (for practical purposes, 
Ultrastereo is the same as Dolby A, but who knows what they'll do if 
you give them something in Mono) . 



Keep in mind that most multiplexes use a platter 
system: While that's good in that there's no unset- 
tling reel changes, you should be forewarned that 
projectionists usually hack frames from the heads 
and tails of every reel (something you should keep 
in mind when you're editing the film) . Also, watch 
out for any reel that starts or ends with full black 
frames even if there's still voiceover or music run- 
ning: most projectionists will assume this is leader 
and cut it off. And even if you carefully label any 
peculiarities you might have, most prints will go 
directly from theater to theater and those labels 
have a way of disappearing. 

Speaking of disappearing, don't count on trailers 
ever coming back. And if they do, they might not 
be your own. That's one reason to keep trailers rel- 
atively short — the labs charge on a per-foot basis 
when you order new ones. 

On the Monday morning after your opening 
weekend, call your booker and see if you can hold 
over an extra week. But don't count on it. "There's 
more films being released, making it harder to hold 
over," says Roodman. And while it's to your advan- 
tage to be flexible in your initial scheduling, you're 
eventually going to run into firm release-date com- 
mitments the theater has with the big distributors. 

The final thing you need to worry about is get- 
ting paid. In my experience, this is less of a problem 
with the big chains than with independent theaters, 
but you still have to be aggressive. Try to keep your 
own approximate box-office records by calling the 
theater every day or so and talking directly to who- 
ever's working the box office. In some cases, you 
may have to send the theater chain an invoice 
before you get paid, and you can only do that after 
they've sent you the box-office reports. In other 
words, it can take a while. 

Like any other form of theatrical distribution, 
reaching out to the multiplexes can be very reward- 
ing on a personal level, but not particularly prof- 
itable in the short run. It is very time-consuming to 
do it right, but if your release is spread over a long 
period of time, you don't need vast amounts of 
prints and advertising money to play your film in a 
large number of cities, to a wide range of people. 

Skimdiince Film Festival co-founder Dan Mirvish 

self-dismbuted his film Omaha (the movie) lust year to 32 

cities. Recently he worked at Disney's Bueria Vista 

Distribution as a temp. 

This article is part o/The Independent's series on self- 
distribution. In December '96 Becky Smith covered sell- 
ing to the educational market, and in fanuary /February 
'97 Mark Huisman examined the practice of four- 
walling. In an upcoming issue, Huisman will look at 
independent film tours: foolhardy or the future? And 
watch for AIVF's Self-Distribution Toolkit, which will 
be available later this year. 



Cheap Tricks 

The following is a list of 
Mirvish's own secrets, 
shortcuts, and other sneaky 
methods to get the most 
out of your adventure in 
self distribution. 

• Acheapwaytodoa 
blow-up: go to the former 
Czechoslovakia. You can fly 
yourself and the negative to 
the lab in Prague and save 
about $20,000 over doing it 
in the States. 

• Multiplex managers are 
less dependent on local 
press than their arthouse 
counterparts (who often live 
or die by the local critics), 
so they may not have a list 
of players on hand. If it 
means making them look 
up every television and 
radio station in the phone 
book under the "Ks" or 
"Ws", so be it 

• Keep in mind that if 
you've been reviewed in the 
New York Times or LA. 
Times, those reviews will 
wind up on those papers' 
respective wire services — 
both of which are heavily 
subscribed to, as are those 
of the Chicago Thumb Boys. 
Of course, if any of those 
write-ups are bad, you're 
screwed. 

• The Friday morning drive- 
time shows are the best 
slot to shoot for; most 
wacky morning-show hosts 
are actor-wannabes who 
just love to kiss up to a film 
director. And if the local 
NPR station says they're 

in the midst of a fund- 
drive and can't help you 
out tell them to offer free 
tickets as a membership 
premium. 

• If you're really desper- 
ate, tell people who are 
waiting in line to buy a tick- 
et to your movie and sneak 
into the one they really 
want to see. The theaters 
usually don't care, so you 
may as well stick it to the 
studios. — D.M. 



28 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



aIajs veTtUrvetL fMS veyoTe'D a 
si<?/vific~H/vr TakT of Bis c^ATtee*. To 

the interconnectedness of family, self, and world. Watching The 
Family Album (1986), viewers may have felt their own histories 
evoked by the snippets of old, anonymous home movies that 
Berliner randomly salvaged from estate sales. In Intimate 
Stranger (1991), Berliner narrows the focus to his own maternal 
grandfather. With Nobody's Business (1996) he scrutinizes his 
father, Oscar Berliner — and Oscar returns the gaze, often 
harshly. 

With this latest documentary, the filmmaker says he is per- 
sonally "raising the stakes." In his previous film, Berliner's sub- 



This belief meshes with the worldview of the Mormons, who 
have assembled the largest genealogical archive in existence. In 
Nobody's Business, Berliner (who is Jewish) documents his jour- 
ney to the great vault at Granite Mountain, Utah, where he 
tries to unearth the family history his father is unwilling or 
unable to supply. The film integrates this material with family 
interviews, ironically employed stock footage (classic boxing 
footage, for example, is used as recurring punctuation when 
father and son square off), and artifacts from his father's life: 
photographs, home movies, and footage from his father's daily 
routine. 

The unasked question facing the viewer is: Who's being more 



'tLh $*eiSi/i*ei 40*&e korn+e tuj£L)h to £occum*4h£ (th ALtkei, 



ject was a man already deceased, and 
one whose biography would 
be of interest to almost any- 
one. An intense Italian Jew 
who worked in Egypt and 
Japan as a cotton trader, he 
became an unofficial diplo- 
mat whose life story is tied 
in with world events. (To 
his family, however, he 
remained a virtual stranger.) 

In Nobody's Business, 
Berliner attempts to get a 
bead on quite another man, 
one who's very much alive 
and is loudly protesting the 
intrusion. What's more, the 
son's relationship with the 
father is fraught with tense 
personal issues. He wants to unlock not 
only his father's store of secrets, but also to reclaim 
his family history through this oldest remaining relative. 

Oscar, at 79, is a tough sell. His crinkled, basset- 
hound features become most animated when contra- 
dicting, insulting, insinuating, refusing, negating, or 
denouncing something in response to his son's cease- 
less inquiries. A good part of this obstinacy stems 
from the reclusive man's sincere belief that a film 
about his ordinary life is an utterly useless project — 
in addition to being nobody's business. He complies 
at least somewhat with his son's efforts to document 
him, as a father indulging a foolish child, but never 
for a moment buys the premise that every soul is 
deserving of enumeration, that no life is devoid of 
significance. 




unreasonable/ The film- 
maker, pressuring his father to 
open up? Or the father, pressuring 
his son to let the matter drop? Oscar 
remains unyielding, but Berliner is 
fully aware that this intransigence 
makes for dramatic tension and 
therefore a crackling good film. At 
the same time, as this man's son he 
struggles to penetrate his steely 
negativity and resolve a relationship 
even as he documents it. 
As personal as Nobody's 
Business is, the film seems to 
have spoken to quite a few peo- 
ple. This project, funded by the 
Independent Television 

Service (ITVS), has received 
impressive acclaim world- 
wide, beginning with its pre- 
miere at the New York Film 
Festival last fall. The film went 
on to win a Golden Spire 
Golden Gate Award at the San 
Francisco International Film Festival 
and a threefold honor at the 1997 Berlin Fest: 
the FIPRESCI Award from the International 
Association of Film Critics; the Caligari Film Prize; and 
the Churches of the Ecumenical Jury Prize. It has also 
been picked up by Japanese, French, and Australian 
television networks. And on June 3, Nobody's Business 
will lead off the 10th anniversary season of P.O.V. on 
PBS. 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



WHY WAS \T \**fOyJ~ANT TO YOU TO A*Ake 

TH\s fil-AA? 

So much of my father's life has been a mystery to me. I've always 
needed to know why he's chosen to live the way he lives — 
reclusive, pessimistic, cynical about life. Over the years, no mat- 
ter how hard I tried, I could never change him, could never 
affect him, or even infect him with my own enthusiasm. 

Whether they are alive or dead, our parents send us messages 
about life; consciously or unconsciously those messages become 
a part of who we are. The kinds of messages I was getting from 
my father were becoming very difficult for me to accept. 

what went THose MessAGes? 

That the misfortunes of his life had overtaken him. That he had 
somehow become a victim of circumstances. My father has so 
often said to me that he's "in the autumn of his life," "that his 
future is behind him," that he doesn't have long to live. It's as if 
he's been in God's waiting room ever since I can remember. In 
the film I challenge him about his negativity, about the fact that 
he's alone all the time and doesn't have any friends. These are 
difficult subjects to talk about, but they have been troubling me 
for a very long time. 

My father is also quite adamant about his own insignificance, 
taking almost a perverse pride in having lived an ordinary, aver- 
age, unremarkable life. Once again, unacceptable! Oscar 
Berliner cannot live for 79 years and tell me his life is nothing, 
was nothing. I'm much too alive as a human being to accept 
that attitude from him. So the more he articulated his own ordi- 
nariness, the more motivated I became to prove him wrong. To 
attempt to give his life a new meaning, if not for him, then at 
least for me. 

what was Tfte Genesis of th'\s fiUM? 

In 1986 I made a film called The Family Album, using 16mm 
home movies from more than 70 different anonymous 
American families and a soundtrack composed from oral histo- 
ries, audio letters, recordings of birthday parties, weddings, hol- 
idays, music lessons, etc., most of which were also anonymous. 
The film dealt with the conflicts and contradictions of family 
life and the falsely idealized nature of home movies as represen- 
tations of socialization and the aging process. At the same time, 
because most of the raw materials I was working with were 
impersonal, I was left with a gnawing desire to raise the stakes, 
to make something that derived more from my own life, my own 
personal relationship to family. 

In 1991 I completed Intimate Stranger, a biography of Joseph 
Cassuto, my maternal grandfather, who died suddenly in 1974, 
before completing his autobiography. The film, which ultimate- 
ly became a journey through my maternal family heritage, was 
only temporarily satisfying. Over time, the emotional distance 
between dead grandparent and filmmaker/grandson seemed to 
widen as I began to take measure of what I wanted to do next. 
Once again I felt an inner urging, a need to again raise the bar, 
the level of challenge. To go even closer to the edge of person- 
al revelation. In a way I see Nobody's Business as the last in a tril- 
ogy of films, moving closer and closer to a kind of human truth, 
zooming in on the emotional power of family relationships, each 
one revealing more of me but also demanding more of me. 



Actually I didn't really have to look very far. My father, who I 
am happy to say is still very much alive, has always loomed as 
an incredibly compelling character to me. 

djd you eye-K Guess that youtl fATHett 

M\GWT NOT WANT TO fAT€~\&\fATe*. 

Remember, his history is also a part of my history. There are 
things that only he knows and only he can tell me about both 
of our lives. He had no idea what kind of film I was going to 
make and was incredulous of the idea that a film about some- 
one like him could even be made at all. But he respected me 
and trusted me, and decided that if I was so committed to doing 
this, he would help me. I suppose, in some way, by agreeing to 
cooperate, he was once again after all these years helping me 




with my homework. Maybe that 
made him feel good, feel needed. 

In many respects we became partners in making Nobody's 
Business. One review refers to the film as a "verbal slapstick 
duet," as if our conversations were a kind of comedy routine. I 
think there's a strong element of that, but at the same time we 
were in absolutely serious emotional territory. He told me when 
I was out of bounds, when there were things he did not want to 
discuss, and at several points during the interviews he threat- 



30 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



ened to take the microphone off and walk away. But he never 
did. 

I think also, that behind this cranky- old-man persona there's 
still a bit of a vanity in him. Regardless of how insignificant he 
thinks his life is, at a certain point he's got to be thrilled some- 
one is asking questions about it. It's only human, I suppose. 

HA7Z YOU HAD THAT V\SC4JSS\0 TV W\T\\ H\m1 

He denies it, although late in the film, when I'm 

talking about human 
geneal- 




ogy and genetics he interrupts me and says, "What's this got to 
do with my biography/!" It's as if he really wants the conversa- 
tion directed back to him. 

WHAT TOf\c$ 3>iX>wr He WA/VT TO T?iSCX»S5? 

Mostly questions surrounding his marriage to my mother, the 
reasons for their divorce, and the effects of the divorce on the 



rest of his life. In general, though, his disinclination to talk 
reflected his own modest sense of himself. As he says in the film, 
"I got married, I raised a family, worked hard, had my own busi- 
ness, that's all. That's nothing to make a picture about." The 
integrity and consistency of his indifference was remarkable to 
me; that in itself was a kind of exuberance — something I want- 
ed to capture in the film. And mid-way through the film he 
expresses what I always felt was the key to his participation: 
"I'm not fooled. In your own tenacious way you're making me 
talk and talk, and eventually you're getting what you want." It 
was then that I knew that he had things to say, and somehow, 
was allowing me to get him to say them. 

V\l> YOU HA7B i/v m'wd To fonT-KAY Hi/* 
i/v any sfecif'fc ways? 

No. I never work like that. I always let the subject come to me. 
I wanted to let him generate the pieces that would form the 
puzzle, to let him be exactly who he is. I knew that none of the 
family history issues interested him, but I hoped that our agree- 
ment to disagree could form the basis of a quintessential par- 
ent/child dialogue. It also made me realize that the film would 
be as much a portrait of our relationship as it would be a biog- 
raphy of his life. After I tell him, "The more you say you're not 
interested, the more it makes me want to change your mind," 
he responds, "You have one bad habit. You think if something's 
important to you, it's got to be important to somebody else," 
and warns me that the film will be a flop if I don't heed his 
advice. That establishes the polemic of the film: my romanti- 
cism versus his stoicism. 

YOU f&XfOTU* <^j\TB A ?>AlAN&\N<* ACT-. 

/ve>e* Too mucw outs\db hotl i/vsise. 

There's a part of me that always wanted to protect him, yet I 
knew that if the film was going to be meaningful, I had to place 
our relationship outside of the safe harbor of sentimentality and 
throw us out onto the high seas, where, if you will, fictional 
characters live. There's no protection out there. For either of 
us. People project all sorts of things upon you. That's one of the 
risks of personal filmmaking. 

WpkB THB7& AHY fA\NfUi- \NSTANtZS 
A*OUT WHitH * ou HA3) VOUITS'! 

In what I consider the emotional core of the film, my father 
pleads, "When your head hurts you, when you can't walk, when 
making conversation is a problem.. .it's not that I choose to be 
alone, I have to be alone! I can't cope!" Not just his words but 
the desperate tone of their delivery was profoundly etched in 
my mind. I was amazed that he was finally articulating his pain, 
something I'd never really heard before. 

On the other hand, there's another point in the film when I 
ask him about two of his brothers who died in infancy, and he 
abruptly announces, "I don't want to talk about it!" I can only 
respond with "Why don't you want to talk about it?" He refus- 
es to even answer that question. Back and forth we go. Finally 
he threatens to end the interview, if I don't change the subject. 
Our uneasy standoff actually went on for almost four minutes, 
becoming a kind of meta-argument about the very boundaries 
of our relationship. Originally, I left about two minutes of it in 
the film, because it was so extraordinary; father and son in a 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 31 



profound battle of wills. 

why sis you cjut \t 3<?w/v? 

My friend Spencer Seidman, who became a story consultant, 
saw a rough cut and told me this scene made him want to stop 
watching. That he felt incredibly claustrophobic listening to 
such protracted raw emotion, what my cousin later describes in 
the film as a battle between "the irresistible force versus the 
immovable object." It was also too soon in the film to introduce 
such an emotional crescendo. So I decided to shorten it sub- 
stantially. To this day I still don't know about those two dead 
children — who would have been my uncles had they lived — or 
why he wouldn't discuss them. I asked. I persisted. But in the 
end, I had to drop the subject. 



we have with our parents are amongst the most intense and 
powerful we will ever have. I'd like to think some of our tense 
exchanges are just another way of expressing love, if only 
because it breaks down boundaries; boundaries that usually 
keep us at a distance from one another. 

I also believe that regardless of class, nationality, ethnicity, 
race, or religion, everyone who sees Nobody's Business already 
has experience in this area. They understand the struggle, the 
dance of negotiations between me and my father. The fact that 
we do it in public only deepens its resonance. In the end, 
whether the viewer is either a parent or someone's 
child — and that 




T?ix> you 7~tti/vk so^e feofle *\\<*HT qbT 
ruTuveD off zy Youtt o/vK£i-e/vri/v<? fpK- 
s\sreN&e w\th an unw\ii\nq sutj-ecH 

My parents' divorce felt like an atomic bomb had been dropped 
on our family. Each one of us was wounded in a different way. 
My quest to understand, my need to confront my father, is, I 
believe, an attempt at healing. For both of us. And I think deep 
down he knows that, too. For better or worse, the relationships 



army. You can make me 
out a big hero, maybe i 
won the war by myself. 

Alan: You can relate to 
your army buddies more 
than you can relate to 
your own grandparents? 

Oscar: Absolutely. No 
question about it. I lived 
with those guys seven 
days a week and we were 
trained to kill or be killed. 
I think until the day I die 
I'll never forget about 
them. 



pretty much encompasses everybody, 
doesn't it.' — I hope they will be recog- 
nize something familiar in our relation- 
ship. 

HOW 3)iD YOU MBQOT\aTB 

the aitbtu^aumq hu^otl 
ajvd Mi/v THAT fettA'Des 

THB fiUM? 

Initially my father's protests are funny. 
Here's a man who refuses even to pre- 
tend interest in virtually anything I 



32 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 



;, 




throw at him, especially anything to do with his own family his' 
tory. It's humorous also because he's so at ease with his disin- 
terest; he's a natural. At some point though, the levity takes on 
a darker shading when you realize that his attitude is grounded 
in his sad predicament; that he is a man who has been wound- 
ed by life. To this day I remain especially haunted by an 
exchange of dialogue in the film: When I told my father that he 
could have remarried after the divorce (and thereby perhaps 
have a more comfortable old age), he responds, "Once burned, 
twice shy." To which I reply, "People say that time heals." His 
matter of fact response was simply ,"Not always." That resonat- 
ed with me for a very long time. Still does. Even though I tend 
to agree with him — although thank God I'm still young enough 
to hold out some hope — no one had ever said that to me before. 
And of course, when a parent says it, it takes on an even deep- 
er significance. 

THAT D\SC\-OSU-X£ Of fliftATe fA\H BOOSTS 

ouit e^fATy w\th Hi>v 

Yes. Then you understand where all of his resistance comes 
from, that he's not intending to be funny, which, ironically, frees 
you up to laugh again. Having articulated his emotional and 
physical pain, he begins to grow as a character. It provides him 
with a certain dignity and courage. 

why 3>to You choose THe 3<?xi/v<? MATcU 

AS A TlBCinViiWG MOT\f? 

I wanted the prize fighting scenes to acknowledge the Oedipal 
drama of our relationship and at the same time place it in a rec- 
ognizable context as a kind of "verbal sparring." You'll notice 
that there are no knockouts in the boxing footage, just a lot of 
punching, scuffling, exchanging jabs. And so it is on the sound- 
track. I was careful to include several of my father's verbal put- 
downs and admonishments of me. For instance, when I ask him 
about his divorce, he declares that I have "a lack of under- 
standing.. .a lack of sympathy... a lack of empathy... for what this 
means" to him. Those words hurt me. And later, at the end of 
the film when I tell him that he's never more alert, never more 
alive than when we have these conversations, and that the 
film is an expression of love to him, he replies, "Bullshit!" It 
also hurt me to hear him say that. But again, it's all part of 
the back-and-forth, punch/counterpunch of our relationship. 
To continue the metaphor, my father is "the champion." I am 
very much "the challenger." 

How 2>i3> you i>ey\se THe scenes 
T>ef\cf\N<i a ryf\cAl day i/v h'\s j-ipe? 

For a long period of time, I had asked him repeatedly to share 
the details of how he spends a typical day. He continually 
refused. Then suddenly, one day he said yes. Maybe he'd for- 
gotten that he'd said no, maybe he changed his mind. I was 
dumbstruck at finally getting him to open a window that had 
been closed to me for so long. I still find it one of the most mov- 
ing parts of the film and the one that I had the most difficulty 
editing. He actually went on for 10 minutes, describing the 
minutiae of shaving, preparing his breakfast, making his 
bed... He's most vulnerable at that point in the film. I see that 
section as a meditation on growing old, on loneliness, on the 
importance of routine when one reaches a certain stage in life, 



and of my father's struggle with all of it. 

Towatcd THe e/vD of THe f'\L*. you con- 
Nttr osca-k quire \M<iemousiY To THe 
Humam fA^y'My He SHu/vs. 

My father is always quick to say that he's "one of billions of peo- 
ple." Even when we began talking about his army years, he 
snapped, "Big deal, there were eleven million men in the army." 
He likes to hide in these large rhetorical crowds. Now, when 
you go someplace like the Family History Library in Salt Lake 
City, as I do in the film, and you're surrounded by the records 
of more than two billion people who've lived and died over the 
past 500 years, you begin to realize that people are far more 
closely related to one another than is generally recognized. In 
fact, many professional genealogists speculate that most people 
in the world, of whatever race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion, 
are no further related than 50th cousin. And that most of us are 
a lot closer than that! It's an idea that has always fascinated me, 
and I wanted to use my father — as a single, "unremarkable" 
human being, a face in the crowd, so to speak — as the key that 
opens the door to thinking about a "human family tree." Of 
course, he wants no part of it. 

WHBN 3>J3> YOU MAf OUT TH\S STuATe^Y 

of coNNecf\N<* youTt fATHeuls stoky To 
THe ntoAveit GeneAloGicAl THeMe*. 

I didn't have it fully figured out at first. It was a wisp of intu- 
ition, of potential. My initial investigations took me to various 
libraries, archives, museums, Jewish Genealogical Society meet- 
ings, even a trip to Poland — all in search of my Berliner family 
history. My father's heritage. My heritage. Our heritage! Then 
I'd come home and attempt to share some of my excitement, 
some of my discoveries, and it was like hitting a stone wall. 

My father refuses to be related to anyone he does not or did 
not know, living or dead, whether they are related to him or 
not. And he is especially not interested in being related to any 
of the billions of "ordinary" people — his "50th cousins" — with 
whom he claims to blend in with so well. He's not interested in 
the social or political implications of a broad human family tree 
nor will he ever be convinced. He also claims that more people 
will agree with him than with me. 

He fief uses hbVaT'wn To eyenxoNe 
eicefT h'\s CrH'\LT>-Rejv an"d g-kan~dcjh\L7). 

My sister Lynn and I are his main links to the world. Early in 
the film I show him a picture of his own grandparents, neither 
of whom he has ever seen before, and he responds by saying, "I 
don't give a shit about them." But later on in the film, he is seen 
doting on and playing with his granddaughter, Jade. It's the only 
time in the film that you see him smile. His explanation for 
these "expressions of love" is that "you have to be a grandfather 
to understand...." 

t>uT He "DoesnT see any coHNecf\oN. 

No. I remind him that he stands in the same relationship to 
Jade that his own grandparents once stood to him. He reminds 
me that he knows Jade, that Jade knows him, but that he never 

Continued on h. 48 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 33 



by Patricia Thomson 

It seemed appropriate that on the morning of my interview 
with Ross McElwee during the Sundance Film Festival, the pro- 
prietor of my bed-and-breakfast sat at the long breakfast table 
and read aloud one newspaper story after another, shaking her 
head and clucking at the tragedies all around us: the avalanche 
nearby that crashed through a house, burying a woman and 
daughter under six feet of snow in their own kitchen; the car 
crashes and murders; the sundry other tragedies met by people 
in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

This impromptu oratory was a prelude to the world of unfore- 
seen hazards, freak accidents, and unlucky victims that 
McElwee infiltrates in The Six O'Clock News, the third of his 
autobiographical features (the trilogy also comprises Shermans 
March, 1986, and Time Indefinite, 1993). It's a world he stum- 
bled into after becoming a new house -bound father who spent 
more time watching television and was transfixed by its parade 
of disasters. Then, after the sudden death of his father, McElwee 



investigative news series, Frontline. McElwee spoke with The 
Independent about his unusual Frontline deal, his arduous writ- 
ing process, and the trouble with first-person documentaries. 



The Six O'clock News is an unusual program for Frontline to acquire, 
being a personal documentary. How did this sale come about? 

It was pretty serendipitous. I, also, felt this was a pretty unusu- 
al film for Frontline. I felt that so strongly I didn't bother to send 
it over. I do have contacts at WGBH, and I always send them a 
copy of my completed films. In fact, the person I'd been work- 
ing with the most, Peter McGhee, an executive in production, 
had seen the film in various cuts along the way, so I gave him 
the final cut. Peter passed it on to Frontline. 

Meanwhile, I had gone about figuring out how to release it 
theatrically, because I had a 35mm print bumped up from super 
16. I thought I would go the usual route — do some festivals, 
probably stay with First Run Features, my distributor in New 
York — but I also wanted to shop it around. Then maybe a year 




felt the need to investigate how other people cope with person- 
al tragedy. So he hit the road, seeking out individuals who had 
momentarily appeared on the local news because of some 
calamity: a Korean wig shop owner whose wife had been mur- 
dered; a couple whose trailer home had been miraculously 
spared by a tornado; a man who had been pinned under con- 
crete for eight hours after the Los Angeles earthquake. But his 
initial stop was to see his old friend Charlene, whose first home 
had been burned to the ground by (and with) her suicidal hus- 
band, and whose new home had been hit by Hurricane Hugo. 

As McElwee probes how these people's lives were affected by 
tragedy, he also pursues two other paths: One leads to 
Hollywood, where he begins talks with some producers about 
directing a "real movie" for Miramax; the other takes us inside 
TV news, which purports to bring the "real world" into our 
homes. Filming himself being interviewed by a Boston news 
magazine show, McElwee reveals the tricks of the trade. Here 
and throughout The Six O'Clock News, McElwee pulls back the 
curtain and shows us the staged, nonspontaneous aspect of soft 
news, and the hit-and-run journalistic practices of hard news. 

Even though The Six O'Clock News is ostensibly about other 
people, their tragedies, and the news media that feeds off of 
them, it is ultimately a film about McElwee — his reflections, his 
fears, his choices. We're steeped in his thoughts. Like a lyric 
poet, this is a man not heard, but overheard. And like the best 
film diarists, McElwee's gentle stream of words imbue the ordi- 
nary objects of his attention with new meaning and resonance. 

After premiering at the Hawaii Film Festival, The Six O'Clock 
News went on to Sundance's American Spectrum section. 
Probably for the first time in Sundance's history, the film was 
nationally broadcast during the festival, appearing on PBS's 




Salvador Pena (on stretcher) was the center of media attention when pinned under 
concrete for eight hours after the Los Angeles earthquake. In The Six O'Clock News, 
McElwee tracks down people like Pena to explore how they handled their personal 
catastrophes. Photos courtesy Frontline 



from now, it would be on television. 

Well, Frontline's [executive producer] David Fanning called 
me and said, "We have one spot. It's in January." Now, this was 
November. "We like this film very much. We think it's a bit of 
a stretch for Frontline, but we'd like to try it. We're trying to 
open up people's concepts when they think of Fromline pro- 
grams. Would you be interested?" I said, "Well, yes. Ideally, I'd 
hoped to wait a year before it would be on television, but I'd be 
interested." 

I had roughly a week to make up my mind. It was a very dif- 
ficult decision. If I were to put it on PBS, there are only two 
places I would really consider: Frontline and PO.V I hadn't 
shown it to anybody at PO.V yet; I thought I had all the time 
in the world. Frontline certainly seemed to have a great reach to 
a large audience; they were well-known. I thought that would 
be wonderful. 



34 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



On the other hand, I realized what it would do to theatrical 
distribution: it would severely cut it, if not make it impossible. 
Plus, I just didn't know how it would work on television. I think 
of it as a film to be shown in theaters. I was very uneasy about 
[television]. 

But on the other hand, I'd accumulated a lot of lab bills, and 
I needed to move on to the next project. Frankly, more for the 
reason of bailing myself out, I felt I had to accept the offer. So I 
gave it to PBS; it went on in a slightly shorter version than the 
theatrical version: 85 minutes versus 103 minutes. 

So will First Run Features be picking this up? 

Nontheatrical is what they do mostly. Yes, they said they'd take 
it and do what they could with it. He encouraged me to take the 
offer from Frontline, because he said, "Frankly, it's probably larg- 
er than any advance you'll be given by any distributor like Fine 
Line, October, or Sony Classics." 

How much did Frontline pay? 

I'd prefer not to say, but it was certainly more that I'd been paid 
before for a television release. 

You worked on this film for a long time — off and on since 1989. At what 
stage did its various funders come aboard? 

Channel Four [in England] helped fund at the beginning. [The 
Corporation for Public Broadcasting] gave me some money, 
most of which went to Time Indefinite. CPB had a Documentary 
Initiative Fund and gave money to three filmmakers: myself, 
Rob Epstein, and Renee Tajima-Pena. 

At first, Time Indefinite and The Six O'Cbck News were 
intended to be one film. It became so unwieldy that I broke 
them into two films. A lot of events occurred in my life with 
Time Indefinite that I had not foreseen, primarily the death of my 
father. What was going to be a prologue to The Six O'Clock 
News broke off and became a second film. 

Time Indefinite is such a personal film. In it, you grapple with major life 
issues — marriage, birth, the death of a parent. Did The Six O'Clock 
News offer you some kind of relief from this introspection, allowing you 
to go outside yourself and find a balance in the external world? 

That's exactly right. The last shot in Time Indefinite is the first 
shot in The Six O'Clock News, so it's meant to linked, but it's 
also quite autonomous. And what you say is exactly true — not 
that anyone would ever see the two films back to back or 
remember enough of the first to let that offer perspective on the 
second. But certainly for me as a filmmaker, The Six O'Clock 
News provided a way to look out onto catastrophes and disas- 
ters other people have experienced. 

Geoff Gilmore said at the Sundance Film Festival's press conference for 
the documentary competition that one third of all the documentaries 
they received were video diaries. 

That's amazing. 

What's your thinking on this explosion of video diaries? And are many of 
your own students working in this vein? 

Are you saying it's my fault/ [laughs] Well, I do get a lot of let- 
ters and emails from people who want to become filmmakers. 
Fifteen years ago, the equipment, the technology, the logistics 
were so daunting that you wouldn't get those kinds of calls. 
People would assume that moviemaking was beyond them. 



Back then, I would just have had to restrict my journalistic/ 
diaristic impulses to the written page. Now, of course, everyone 
knows what video cameras can do, so people are making that 
leap. I certainly don't encourage that kind of filmmaking when 
I'm teaching, but there will always be one or two students who 
want to do it out of a class of 15. I don't think it's for everyone. 
I'm surprised there were that many submissions to Sundance. I 
hesitate to say what exactly that suggests, except that people 
really feel some need to express inner feelings in a world that 
may be seeming more impersonal. But who knows? That's a 
grandiose statement, and I don't know how you'd ever quantify 
it. I think mainly it's just the proliferation of video. 

What's the most common problem among personal diary films? 

It looks easier than it is to make these films work. Indeed, with 
my own films, I'm sure there are many people who feel this style 
is suspect, it's not worth pursuing. But within the genre, there is 
also a line you reach where clearly it's working or clearly it isn't. 
It's like walking a tightrope; if you fall off, you fall into this vast 
sea of narcissism, self-indulgence, and solipsism. Those are the 
dangers — and a lot of people fall off. I'm sure I occasionally slip 
on the tightrope. My problem is I keep climbing up and getting 
back on it again. 

How do you keep from falling? Some kind of sounding board must be 
absolutely essential when writing. 

Oh, yes. I rely on my friends. I can tell a lot just by sitting in the 
room with them watching the film — whether it's working, 
whether it drags, whether there's too much voiceover, and so 
on. I rely on the point of view of other people who've had the 
experience of making documentaries and know what it is you're 
going through, who can help me pinpoint where the film's gone 
amiss. Then I do test screenings. I throw up a couple versions 
and invite people who are not filmmakers, people who are, peo- 
ple I know well, and people I don't really know at all. I do at 
least two of those. 

As I've gone on, I do less of that — for better or for worse — 
relying more on my own intuition. I could never make a film in 
a vacuum, although I know filmmakers who do, who trust their 
innate sensibilities. Robert Gardner is like that; he's very, very 
confident about his own writing. I'm not like that; I'm very inse- 
cure about my films. 

What's the hardest part of the documentary process for you? 

The editing; it's excruciating. Of editing, it's the writing of the 
voiceover that's most difficult. I actually enjoy the editing 
process per se — making the cuts. But I find writing the 
voiceover extremely hard, because it's very hard to gain objec- 
tivity as to whether the voiceover is working. I look at the text 
of my narration and think, "There's nothing complex about this 
syntactically; it's simple, straightforward prose. There's nothing 
poetic about it. So why does it take me so long to get the right 
words? Twenty, forty, fifty written versions! Twenty recorded 
versions! Ten or fifteen mag track versions before I finally get 
something that works. 

Mediocre or solipsistic writing is one of the hazards of personal docu- 
mentary. Another is the danger of exploiting the people who appear in 
your film. 

Yes, but that's true for all documentaries. To me it's the single 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



2i2.343- l8 5° 

OPEN CITY 



Affordable Avid off-line Editing 
36 gigabytes of storage 
Beautiful Soho location 
Skylight and bucolic court yard 



EDIT 



OPEN CITY FILMS, INC. 

198 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013 




WRITE • DIRECT • SHCCT • EDIT 

YOUR OWN SHORT FILMS IN OUR HANDS-ON, 

EIGHT WEEK TOTAL IMMERSION PROGRAM 

FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH LITTLE OR NO 

PRIOR FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE. 



SUMMER SPECIAL SIX WEEK WORKSHOPS AT: 

PRINCETON & YALE UNIVERSITIES 

THE NEW YORK FILM ACADEMY IN NEW YORK CITY 

These workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy 



LEARN CONCEPTS OF STORY, DIRECTING, 

CAMERA, LIGHTING, SOUND AND EDITING IN 

AN INTENSIVE YET SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. 

WORK WITH 16MM ARRIFLEX CAMERAS IN 

SMALL CLASSES DESIGNED AND TAUGHT 

BY AWARD-WINNING INSTRUCTORS. NEW 

WORKSHOPS START THE FIRST MONDAY 

OF EVERY MONTH IN NEW YORK CITY 

ALL YEAR ROUND. TUITION $4000. 

ADVANCED FILM DIRECTING WORKSHOP AVAILABLE 



new yccr riLM academy 

±00 EAST 17TH STREET NYC 10003 TEL: 212-674-4300 FAX: 212-477-1414 
WEB: www.nyfa.com E-MAIL: film@nyfa.com 
FORMERLY LOCATED AT THE TRIBECA FILM CENTER 




stickiest component of all documentary 
filmmaking, whether it's the pure cinema 
verite of Frederick Wiseman or — 
stretching the definition of documen- 
tary — whether it's 60 Minutes and their 
investigative showmanship, or whether 
it's first-person singular documentary. 

But it 

comes 
more to 
the fore- 
front in 
first-per- 
son. Well, 
in some 
ways it 
does and 
in some ways it doesn't. If you're just 
behind the camera, recording life, and 
you exploit someone's personality or sit- 
uation negatively, in some ways that's 
worse than doing it as a first-person film- 
maker, because at least in the first-person 
genre the audience is fully aware of who 
is responsible for this mistreatment. In a 
way, you can say it's a little more honest 
to be putting yourself into the film where 
these trespasses are occurring. 

But for me it's the single element that 
makes me question whether I want to 
continue to make documentary films — 
moreso than the financial problems con- 
nected to it. And I think I'm pretty tame 
in how I treat people in my films. I try to 
be decent. But there's always again 
another line; you're watching all these 
lines as you make these films. 

When do you stop yourself from crossing the 
line? While shooting or while editing? 

It's hard to say. It's a scene-by-scene 
approach, but always in the editing the 
real decisions are made. After awhile, 
there is a point at which you realize that 
really, really foolish people who are 
depicted in a terrible light are in the long 
run going to damage the structure and 
style of your film anyway. In Sherman's 
March, I found some outrageous people 
who were pure fools, if I can put myself in 
the position of judging them. These 
scenes were complicated and wonderful 
and hilarious. But after numerous 
screenings, I dropped some of them. 
Overall they were damaging to the film. 
Whatever the integrity of the film is, its 
tensile strength, somehow they under- 
mined that, because these people were 



36 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 



pathetic. 

In Sherman's March, the one time I 
really let people hang themselves was 
with the survivalists on the mountain- 
side, who were ranting about the Ameri- 
can government and isolationism. These 
guys deserve it, in a way; this is part of a 
virus that's in our culture, at least in my 
opinion. I'm going to let them show 
themselves to be who they are. 

I think it also depends if people are in 
a position of power. Most people are 
more or less powerless. 

In the scene with Mr. Im, you put your camera 
down after he says he doesn't want to talk 
about his wife's death on camera, and yet you 
continue recording audio. Does he know 
you're recording sound? 

Oh, yes, in the film — if you're listening 
carefully — he says, "It's very hard talking 
to the camera." And I say, "It's easier to 
the tape recorder?" And he says, "Yes, 
much easier to the tape recorder." He's 
willing to talk to the tape recorder, but 
not to the camera; he feels self-con- 
scious. I put that in there, because it 
would be very troubling to think that I 
was eavesdropping on him. 

During all the footage of local news crews, you 
did not overtly criticize them or their meth- 
ods. Was that because that's been done to 
death, or was it a matter of empathy? 

Of course [it was empathy] . Also, to set 
myself up as some superior media to the 
news would have been very presumptu- 
ous. There's no way I could get away 
with that. The other factor is, people 
lampoon the news quite a bit already. I 
didn't need to add my voice to the cho- 
rus. The way the news operates is implic- 
it the film's little [news] montages, as 
well as the ways in which I've recorded 
the news crews gathering their material. 
But for me to claim that just because I 
don't ask them to walk in the door three 
times or repeat gestures or start over, 
that my reality is more real than theirs is 
an absurd assumption to make. They're 
doing something very different from 
what I do. The film is not meant to be a 
critique of the news. It's something else 
altogether. One of the things I'm playing 
with is notions of "reality" and the hall 
of mirrors we inhabit — media filming 
media. I'm trying to have a little fun. 

Patricia Thomson is editor of "The Independent. 



M beast Negative Matchers, Im 

"Setting New Standards In Negative Cutting" 
Negative Cutting to Film or Video Workprint 

SPECIALIZING IN VIDEO MATCHBACK TO THE AVID FILM COMPOSER 

□35mm □ Super 16mm □16mm 



25 Riverview Terrace • Springfield, MA 01 108 • 413/736-2177 • 800/370-CUTS 
North Miami Office 305/940-8878 



— 



31st Annual 

NEW YORK EXPOSITION OF SHORT FILM AND VIDEO 
AND INTERACTIVE MULTIMEDIA 




ANIMATION • DOCUMENTARY • EXPERIMENTAL • NARRATIVE 
NEW MEDIA • DANCE FILM & VIDEO 

FESTIVAL: NOVEMBER 1997 

PUBLIC SCREENINGS • PANELS • SIDEBAR EVENTS • AWARDS,^,. 

at The New Jfchool, Greenwich Village, New York City 

Accepting Student and International Entries 

Sponsored by: The New School, Blockbuster Entertainment, 
Sundance Channel, the New York State Council on the Arts, 
Eastman Kodak, Cyberfelds and the New York Film/Video Council. 

ENTRY DEADLINE: JULY 1,1997 

For entry form and guidelines: 

New York Expo 

532 La Guardia Place, Ste.330 

New York, NY 10012 

©212/505 7742 

email: rswbc@cunyvm.cuny;edu 



NEW Y"0 R K 



l=®P© 



SHORT FILM AND VIDEO 



New York's Premiere Showcase 



Digital Betacam, Avid 

MC 8000s PCf AVRs ls- 
75, Film Composers, 
Betacam SP, 3/4 U-Matic 
SR S-VHS, H«-8, Magni 
Waveform /Vector Scope, 



post 

391 



Avid I HIRE 



Mackie mixers, Genelec 
Audio Monitors, etc... 



212.843.0840 

No. 200 Varick St. Room 501 NYC 10014 




OnuneXOffline Suites 

Post Production Support 

Digital Betacam 

Editorial 



May 1997 THE INDEPENDENT 37 




by Kenn Rabin 

After more than a decade of teaching 
archival footage workshops, I can usually 
anticipate the questions I'll be asked. They are 
usually about the licensing and clearance of 
archival footage, stills, and music. Many have 
an unspoken agenda, as if the filmmaker want- 
ed my permission to let something slide. Each 
question is really a variation on the same 
theme: I don't really have to pay for this, do I? 
And my answer is almost always, Well, yes, 
actually you do. Sorry! 

It's hard to apologize for the way things are. 
The responses I get vary from disappointment 
to frustration to anger — sometimes at me. 
Often students tell me outright that they plan 
to steal a film clip or piece of music. I under- 
stand their frustration, because we do not, in 
fact, own the rights to our own audiovisual his- 
tory. Those of us who would like to use media 
to make the world a slightly better place do not 
necessarily have free and unlimited access to 
the raw materials we need. Sometimes those 
materials are expensive. Sometimes they are 
downright unavailable. On the other hand, 
archives are expensive businesses to run. Most 
of their owners are not Scrooges, but rather 
people who love collecting film, and who are 
faced with escalating costs for vault space, lab 
prices, and personnel salaries and benefits, as 
well as with physically deteriorating holdings. 

So, to set the record straight, here are Ten 
Common Misconceptions Producers Have 
Regarding Footage, Stills, and Music 
Clearances. These aren't the only 10, nor does 
space allow more than a paragraph on each, 
but at least this may get you thinking about 
some of the issues involved. 



1. "If I'm making a 
documentary, it's fair use." 

Fair use is the clause in the copyright law that 
allows certain users to excerpt from copyright- 



Not Worth the Gamble 

Think no one will notice if you sneak some off-air footage 
into your film? Or that it's okay if it's public domain? Think 

again and memorize the following Top 10 misconceptions 

about archival rights & clearances. 




Photo courtesy Archive Films 

ed material under certain conditions without 
obtaining permission from the copyright hold- 
er. Fair use is a defense against copyright 
infringement, not a protection against some- 
one dragging you into court. If the work you 
are creating is for educational use, that is one 
of the factors taken into consideration by the 
courts. But are you only distributing to schools? 
What about other, more commercial, mar- 
kets — even for the future? Fair use criteria also 
take into account how much of the entire 
copyrighted item you are using, and whether 



you're damaging the copyright holder's abili- 
ty to make money from his or her ownership. 
Finally, the most important consideration 
may be the "nature of the work" — whether 
your film includes, say, a clip from a television 
news broadcast in order to make an impor- 
tant comment about how an event was por- 
trayed in the media (a strong fair use case), or 
whether you're just using it as a placeholder 
to indicate that an event happened (a weak 
one) . 



38 THE INDEPENDENT May 1997 



2. "Under X seconds 
is fair use." 

Traditionally, fair use does extend some such 
extra protections to spot news, because it is 
considered ephemeral and needs to get on the 
air so fast that normal licensing may not be 
practical. However, producers should never 
assume that x is 10 seconds, 50 words, eight 
bars of music, or even that there is an x. Always 
make a good-faith effort to clear the material, 
even if it's a phone call. If a copyright holder 
responds with, "It's short enough, we can't be 
bothered; go ahead and use it," or "We consid- 
er an excerpt that short to be fair use," get them 
to give it to you in writing — even if just by fax. 



3. "Anything before 1920 
is in the public domain." 

While most film, photograph, artwork, and 
music synchronization rights dating from before 
1920 are likely to have lapsed, there are excep- 
tions, since the "twice 28 years" rule was 
changed in the mid- seventies and the laws are 
still in flux [see Media News, Jan./Feb. 1997]. 
Nowadays, an item previously in the public 
domain may even have new copyright protec- 
tion extended to it (such as in the case of the 
Frank Capra film, It's a Wonderful Life). It's 
always best to make sure by doing a copyright 
search through the Library of Congress or an 
intellectual property law firm. Also be aware of 
"underlying rights" issues and differing rules in 
various countries: that Rembrandt painting is 
in the public domain, but the photographic 
reproduction you are using probably is not. And 
that Mozart concerto is fine, but who owns the 
recording? That clip from Fritz Lang's 1925 film 
Metropolis? — well, the film is in the public 
domain in the United States but not in 
Germany (are you distributing international- 
ly?), and certain versions (such as the restored 
print released some years ago with a rock 
soundtrack) are under copyright protection. 



4. "Public domain footage 
is free." 

You will almost always have to pay the cost of 
duplication, regardless of where material comes 
from. As far as other fees are concerned, any- 
one furnishing you with materials may charge 
you some kind of fee for their use. Many com- 
mercial archives have copies of public domain 



Film/Video Arts 



from Arriflex to Avid: 

everything you need 
to make your film. 



Avid 1000 
Betacam SP on-line 
3/4" SP on-line 
Off-line suites 
6 & 8-plate flatbeds 
Equipment Rental j 
Dubs & Transfers 

Plus, over 100 
Spring and 
Summer courses 



212.673.9361 






CcS 


International Insurance Brokers Inc. 

Formerly Coulter & Sands Inc. 

Discounted Liability 

Insurance 
for AIVF Members 

Contact: Debra Kozee 

Suite 500 • 20 Vesey Street 

New York, NY 10007-2966 

Tel: 800-257-0883 

212-406-4499 

Fax:212-406-7588 

t-mail: staff@csins.com 

http://www.csins.com 



Finding Stock Footage 



takes Energy. 



the Largest a ,J Most Unique 

Collection f Original Cinematography 

in the World 



uiiUii 



1.800.IMAGERY/or Your Most Valuable Resource 
http ://www. digital-energy, com 



May 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 39 




278 Babcock St. Boston, MA 02215 
617-254-7862 Phon* - 617-254-7149 Fax 




footage but will charge you a "license fee" to 
use it, even though there is technically no copy- 
right involved. Why? Because they have col- 
lected the material, and what they are really 
charging is a fee for their efforts, overhead, and 
your timely use of their elements. Although you 
may find the same clips in a collection that 
doesn't charge usage fees (such as the National 
Archives or Library of Congress), you may have 
to wait weeks to get your copies from them. 



5. "Archives don't really check 
to see if their footage is used. 

Besides, I'm just a little guy. 

They don't care about me." 

Little guys get caught all the time, and an 
archive can get a fast injunction against the dis- 
tribution of your entire film until or unless you 
pay them or remove their material. Also, 
archives are increasingly protecting themselves 
against piracy by not releasing "clean" masters 
until licensing fees are paid. Scratch prints or 
burned-in videotape really sticks out in a fin- 
ished film, as does that videotape from the 
Vanderbilt University News Collection, with 
the character-generated date, time, and net- 
work on it. 



6. "If I buy it, I can use it — 
again and again." 

Check your contract. Unless you have made an 
unusual arrangement with an archive or are 
dealing with government archives in certain 
foreign countries such as Cuba or Poland, you 
are usually purchasing "one-time nonexclusive 
rights" to use the footage only in the film or 
series episode indicated in your contract. If you 
want to use the same clip in another project, 
contact the archive again. It you enter a new 
market with your current product, you also 
must renegotiate with most archives, unless 
you've already bought those rights. Also, 
although some archives sell in perpetuity, most 
have time limits, so you are only buying rights 
for a given number of years. If your product is 
still in distribution after that, you must "re-up" 
the rights. 



7. "If I pay the archive for the 
footage, I'm covered." 

Well, you may be. But, again, check your con- 



tract; most include what's known as a "quit 
claim," saying you are responsible for the 
clearance of any underlying or subsidiary 
rights. Does that news clip show people 
dancing to a recognizable song? You may not 
have the right to use that song, even if the 
archive furnished the sound to you. If you 
bought the Fox Movietone clip of Marilyn 
Monroe singing to JFK, you'd better pay syn- 
chronization rights for the song "Happy 
Birthday." Also, if you are obtaining that clip 
so you can digitally drop Marilyn into a Diet 
Coke commercial or manipulate video reali- 
ty so that President Clinton is shaking hands 
with her, you'd better check with her estate; 
they actually hold a trademark on her like- 
ness and will levy a stiff penalty if you use it 
without their approval. In fact, these days, in 
most states, celebrity likenesses are protect- 
ed from certain non-news uses. 



8. "We'll choose our music 
in postproduction." 

Music rights are far more complex than we 
can explore here [see "For the Price of a 
Song: Music Rights Clearance," by Robert 
Seigel, May 1992], and getting permission to 
use a certain piece of music may take 
months. Often, you have to clear two types 
of rights: synchronization rights (payments 
to a music publisher to cover the song's com- 
poser, lyricist, and arranger) and master use 
(payments to a record label to clear a partic- 
ular recording and the musicians who per- 
formed it). Both processes are notoriously 
slow, unless you have a lot of money to 
spend. And often independent filmmakers 
who can't come up with major bucks are 
ignored or turned down cold (at the last 
minute). So unless you've navigated these 
treacherous waters before, begin planning 
your music as early as possible, and consult 
right away, even if it's only for a day, with 
someone who works specifically on music 
rights clearances. 



9. "If I'm producing for PBS, 

I don't have to clear music 

or stills." 

There is a nucleus of truth to this, but it's 
gotten exaggerated through hearsay. It is cur- 
rently true that you do not have to clear 
music rights for the PBS broadcast of your 



40 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 



program, although you must completely fill out 
a PBS Music Cue Sheet and submit it with your 
finished show. PBS will administer the rights for 
any music appearing on their stations. (Do not 
allow any music publisher or record company to 
sell you PBS broadcast rights.) However, if you 
are distributing your show in any other market, 
you must clear music rights for those markets. 
Regarding stills, they are not free for PBS use. 
However, the 1976 Copyright Law established a 
tribunal that set low rates for use of grabbed 
graphics in public television programs. By 
"grabbed graphics," I mean images filmed 
directly out of books, magazines, and other 
publicly available sources, as opposed to pho- 
tography acquired directly from commercial 
archives or museums, or glossy photos received 
from a magazine or newspaper publisher for the 
express purpose of being used in the program. 
You can check with PBS to find out what the 
current tribunal rate is, but remember that this 
rate only applies to PBS broadcast and often 
refers only to a copy of the image that is less 
than ideal quality, usually containing a dot pat- 
tern. In any case, you must negotiate with the 
copyright holder for any ancillary markets in 
which you plan to distribute. 



10. "Stock footage is cheap!" 

By now, you should have a good sense that this 
is the biggest misconception of all. Also, per- 
haps you are getting a glimmer that the whole 
thing's much more difficult than it should be, 
and that no one in their right mind would ever 
want to bother using third-party material. 
Rights clearance is a difficult field and getting 
more complex all the time, but before you 
despair, think of all the important documen- 
taries and fiction projects that have been 
immeasurably enriched by producers willing to 
run this particular obstacle course. For there's 
nothing like the textural richness and authen- 
ticity that archival moving images, vintage 
graphics, and historically correct music con- 
tribute to a well-conceived and well-executed 
project. So go out there armed with some 
knowledge of the pitfalls, and prepare to be per- 
sistent and diplomatic. 



Kenn Rabin, president of San Francisco -based Fulcrum 

Media Services, has worked on such award-winning 

series as Eyes on the Prize, Vietnam: A Television 

History, The American Experience, 500 Nations, 

and many other documentaries and features. 




Americana 

Comedy & Odd Events 

■< m 
Hollywood 

History & Sports 

Beauty Footage 



FOR THE CREATIVE PERSON WHO 
DEMANDS SELECTION AND SERVICE AT 
AN AFFORDABLE PRICE. 



THE 







,N STOC 



IMAGEWAYS 



Tel: (800) 862-1118 
http://www.iways.com 



412 West 48th Street New York, NY 10036 Fax: (212) 586-0339 




May 1 997 THE INDEPENDENT 41 




How to Turn Old Footage 
into Long-term Dividends 

Stock hoias&s seek the 
beautiful and the munelan 



by Karen Kramer 

You've made a terrific documentary, maybe 
several, and you want to get the most out of all 
that hard-earned footage. Many filmmakers 
have found they are able to reap financial 
rewards again and again by consigning their 
work to a stock footage library. 

Independent filmmaker Ralph Ackerman, 
for example, sold some 1969 footage of 
Woodstock to the Toronto-based stock compa- 
ny Fabulous Footage. "I made a couple of thou- 
sand dollars a month ago for a couple of sec- 
onds of footage," he says. Ironically, "It was for 
an anti-drug PSA." 

When independents hear about the large 
sums possible from stock footage sales, they 
tend to jump without looking. But as with any 
distribution outlet, it's important to do your 
research, then proceed with caution. 

There are many types of stock footage 
houses. Some deal with specialized footage 
(sports, nature, waves, etc.), while others offer 
a broad spectrum of material. Archives Films, 
for instance, which is one of the largest 
libraries, with more than 14,000 hours of 
footage, specializes in historical material (pre- 
1970). Generally they don't look for "beauty 
shots," but are more concerned with content. 

The New York-based Imageways, on the 
other hand, wants the beauty shots. "Let's say a 
filmmaker is in Hawaii shooting Hawaii 5-0 or 
whatever," says Imageways owner Ken Powell. 
"I don't want to see the episode of Hawaii 5-0; 
I want to see the shot of the palm tree right 
next to where you are, or what establishes 
Hawaii. A beauty shot. Sometimes what seems 
to be mundane is what makes stock footage." 

When approaching a stock house, a film- 
maker first makes contact with the acquisitions 
person on staff. The company usually asks for a 
videocassette of the finished film; if they're 
interested, they may ask to see some outtakes as 
well. The reason for this, according to Rick 




Ralph Ackerman 
was able to turn 
his old Woodstock 
footage into new 
cash by licensing 
it through a stock 
house. 

Courtesy 
filmmaker 



Gell, owner of the three co-owned New York- 
based stock companies Second Line Search, 
Hot Shots/Cool Cuts, and Sports, Action, 
Adventure, is they assume your best material is 
in the cut. 

Arwyn Gostord, senior art director and rep- 
resentative at Fabulous Footage, says, "We look 
at a film and try to identify' the best sequences 
we can sell, and then try to find a longer cut." 
Lee Shoulders, acquisitions manager of the 
New York-based Archive Films, also notes, 
"We don't need to see everything that some- 
body has. We just need to see enough to know 



that we're interested, and then we will cata- 
log and transfer whatever someone wants to 
give us." 

"I have standard questions when filmmak- 
ers come to me," says Gell. "The [status of] 
rights is number one." Gell makes sure the 
filmmaker has rights to all the outtakes, as 
well as to what's in the finished piece. 
Second, he asks, "In what format does the 
material exist? Ninety percent of what we do 
is in tape... [and] the client is looking for a 
tape master. I also want to know if a film- 
maker can provide a good highlight reel, a 



42 THE INDEPENDENT May 1 997 



good list of what is in the collection, what 
type of deal they want, and the talent issues 
involved." 

Gell also recommends that filmmakers 
have information on the footage and out- 
takes well organized, both the material that 
is in the hands of the stock house and that 
which isn't. "There's the material that we 
want to have mastered, on hand, and ready 
to go at a moment's notice. But the impor- 
tant thing is if there's a need to go further, 
you have the information in your database or 
in your files, so that you can access it in a 
timely fashion," he says. This helps negotia- 
tions proceed more quickly. 

Very rarely will a company buy the footage 
outright; rather, they keep it on a consign- 
ment basis, paying only when there is a sale. 
Most companies don't demand exclusive 
rights and will draw up contracts for a limit- 
ed period of time. After the contract is up, 
the filmmaker can renew or get the material 
back. The filmmaker is responsible for sup- 
plying good screening copies and a viable 
way to obtain the master quickly, should 
some footage be sold. Most stock houses 
want the footage to originate on film, though 
they sell it in tape format. The client buys 
footage on a per-second basis, and the fee 
varies dramatically according to the show- 
case. When a sale occurs, the standard split 
is 50/50. 

"Footage licensing can range anywhere 
from $2,000 to $2,500 per shot for a high- 
quality image that's used in a national televi- 
sion commercial," says Gell. "For a multime- 
dia production, they can be paying as low as 
$900 a minute. I think that's a range a film- 
maker can anticipate." 

If a filmmaker is concerned that selling 
footage from the film itself might undercut 
its distribution potential, some stock houses, 
such as Archive Films, will put a clause in 
the contract specifying that no more than 
five minutes can be used without permission 
of the filmmaker. 

Because Imageway's Powell and his part- 
ner are also filmmakers, they understand 
how nervous some independents might be 
about turning over their footage. "I try to 
make it real clear that they can come see my 
set-up," Powell says. "I only take time-coded 
cassettes. With some filmmakers I set up a 
deal where they can keep the material at a 
lab of their choice." Powell also cautions 
filmmakers about the unpredictability of 
sales — and the benefit of patience. "I try to 



tell filmmakers that stock footage is like peanut 
butter. It can sit up on a shelf for a long time, 
and a little goes a long way. You never know 
when you're going to make money. That's why I 
encourage filmmakers to give me what they've 
got." 

But before handing over the goods to any- 

one, a filmmaker should check with peers about 
a company's reputation. "Filmmakers get ripped 
off left, right, and center, and there are a lot of 
lawsuits that go on," says one filmmaker who 
spoke from experience and prefers to remain 
anonymous. "A lot of the major houses are not 
run by the most ethical people. A lot of people 
do not end up getting paid. I don't think it hap- 
pe